Intellectual property is the concept of ownership related to tangible or intangible ideas. Also referred to as “IP”, individuals can in many cases secure ownership and thereby enforce their exclusive rights in their ideas, using the intellectual property registry systems available around the world.
Trademarks are any type of a mark, logo or the like which is used to differentiate your products or services from those of others. It is important for a company to not only understand what trademarks are but also to have a plan for the protection and expansion of their brand over time in the marketplace.
Patents are used to protect novel products, processes or other utilitarian subject matter. The term of a Canadian patent is 20 years from the earliest filing date. In order for an invention to be patentable it needs to be novel, and meet several other statutory requirements.
An industrial design is the shape or ornamentation that gives a manufactured article its visual appeal. Design registrations can only protect ornamentation or visual appeal and not the utility of an article, and are often used as a part of a multi-layered IP strategy.
Copyright protects the written or fixed expression of an idea. Copyright is often used in creative businesses to protect written works, artworks, performances and the like. Copyright is also a primary protective measure for computer software.
Confidential Information and Trade Secrets
Trade secrets and confidential information could include customer lists, business processes or the like. Establishment of proper confidentiality protection measures is key to the ongoing protection of this category of intellectual property rights.