IP (Intellectual property) is considered an asset for any business. Intellectual Property is an intangible asset which means that the asset is not physical, it is as the result of human creativity, thought and inventiveness, and this type of asset forms the intellectual capital of a business. So do you know your IP?
There are 4 basic types of Intellectual property:
(a) Patent, (b) Trade Mark, (c) Copyright (d) Trade Secret.
A patent protects an invention or idea. It is an exclusive right granted by a sovereign state to an inventor in exchange for the details of that invention. An invention is a product or a process. Patent usually refers to the right granted to anyone who invents any new, useful, and non-obvious process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter.
A Trade Mark protects a logo, name, packaging or colour which distinguishes your goods/services from others. A trade mark may be located on a package, a label, a voucher, or on the product itself. A trade mark identifies the brand owner of a particular product or service.
Copyright protects any original work made by a person, such as paintings, photographs, music or literary works. Originality refers to the fact that the author must have created the work through the application of the author’s own creativityand labour.
Trade secrets are procedures, methods, devices or strategies that are confidential and exclusive to a company. This information is kept confidential. Examples of trade secrets: the KFC recipe, the Google search algorithm, the Krispy Kreme Doughnut recipe.
Protecting your Intellectual property is extremely important and makes your business much more competitive. Given the scope of legal protection, most businesses have some form of Intellectual Property.