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New to IP? FAQ and guides

An introduction to patents (FAQ)

A patent is an agreement between you and the state that can prevent others from exploiting your invention for up to 20 years, subject to annual renewal. In exchange for this monopoly, the state discloses your idea. Details of a patent…

An introduction to trade marks (FAQ)

A trade mark is a sign used by a business to distinguish their goods or services from those of their competitors. Typically a trade mark may consist of a word or device (often described as a logo) although more unusual signs such as sounds or…

An introduction to registered designs (FAQ)

UK or Community registered designs can offer protection for up to 25 years (subject to renewal each five years). You are allowed up to one year from the date your design was first made public before you have to register it. Like other IP rights a…

Domain names (FAQ)

At its simplest, a domain name is a string or sequence of characters identifying a section of the Internet, usually the address for accessing a website via a web browser. Ideally, a company or an individual will choose a domain name which is…

An introduction to copyright (FAQ)

Copyright is an automatic IP right that relates to the expression of an idea (not the idea itself) as soon as that idea is 'fixed' (written, drawn, recorded or stored on your computer). You do not need to formally apply or pay for copyright…

An introduction to plant variety rights (FAQ)

Plant variety rights are a form of intellectual property designed specifically to protect new varieties of plants. The International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (the UPOV Convention) is the international basis…

Guide to the Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court (FAQ)

The new system comes in two parts: a unitary patent (UP) and the Unified Patent Court (UPC). The UP will be a single patent right that will be effective in up to 25 member states of the EU (possibly more over time). The EU already has EU trade marks…

The essential IP guide for start ups and SMEs

For an SME using innovation to secure growth, intellectual property is a core asset. Managing your IP is about enabling opportunity and mitigating risk. What practical steps can you take to protect your brand, product and ideas?

Guide to the UK patent box (FAQ)

The aim of this guide is to set out the basic requirements for obtaining a granted GB patent which could be used to elect profits into the Patent Box. We also explain some of the procedural aspects and cost implications of obtaining a GB patent.

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