Intellectual property

The identification of Intellectual Property (IP) is an important aspect of our research work – as IP issues can relate to the discovery of, protection and potential commercialisation of the research undertaken. 

 

The most commonly used forms of protection are:

 

Copyright

Protects the original expression of ideas (not the ideas themselves). Copyright is automatic, whether explicitly claimed or not (i.e. does not require formal registration) and is free of charge. This includes:

  • written works
  • internet and multimedia presentations
  • computer software
  • business management systems 

Patents

Provide time-limited monopolies over commercial exploitation of inventions or innovations that have acceptable degrees of novelty, usefulness and appropriateness.  These require strict formal registration procedures, and incur costs that can be quite high.

 

Trademark

Something that is used to distinguish goods and services of one trader from those of another. It is registrable and has associated costs.

 

Design

Protects the appearance of products. It is registrable and has associated costs.

 

Trade secret

Proprietary knowledge (know-how) and other confidential information. Non-registrable, no direct cost, but of limited application in the public domain.