Intellectual Property, Patents and Copyright

British Library – Protecting your business ideas

Protecting your ideas

Intellectual property is vital to the business process. Knowing how to protect your idea, whether it’s an invention or a brand name, can save you a lot of time and money. Read on to find out about patents, trademarks, copyright and registered designs.

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Licence finder

You may need a licence for:

* some business activities
* other activities, eg street parties

Use this tool to find out which licences you may need.

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IP Basics (videos)

IP BASICS - IP made easy by the Intellectual Property Office.

Great range of short videos relating to IP. Video's include:
What is Intellectual Property?
Is Intellectual Property important to my business?
Should I get a trade mark?
Should I have a registered design?
Should I license or franchise my Intellectual Property?
Should I protect my Intellectual Property overseas?
How do I avoid infringing IP in work?
Someone is using my IP
My business is a victim of IP Crime

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What’s Intellectual Property got to do with you?

Short introduction from Durham University on intellectual property.

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Intellectual Property for business

The IPO's IP for business tools and guidance can help you create value from your ideas, turning inspiration into sustainable business success.

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GOV.UK – IP Toolkit

Intellectual property toolkit.

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Sound and Music copyright basics

Copyright advice for composers and performers.

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UK Copyright Service

Copyright basics for composers and performers.

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Our Advice

You may now believe you need to protect your ideas & logos. The rules on copyright, patents, registered trademarks  and suchlike are complex and frightfully dull. Do as much research as you can before engaging the costly services of a patent lawyer or consultant. In principle it may seem easy enough to protect your idea but the laws governing the level of protection afforded and the speed with which it can be implemented and whether it is worldwide or merely local, frequently make it a non-viable option for the small business.

When considering protecting your ideas bear in mind the chances that your idea is unique are slim. There are 7 billion people on the planet and some of the most successful products have come about through incremental changes.