What is intellectual property?
Intellectual property refers to the legal rights to ideas, inventions and creations in the industrial, scientific, literary and artistic fields. It also covers symbols, names, images, designs and models used in business. You may not realize it, but your business may be creating IP assets that should be protected.
Benefits to business
Establishing intellectual property protection for your goods, services or brand names is important to business for a variety of reasons. Intellectual property can:
- Establish a right to and ownership of an intellectual creation. This enables the IP owners to profit from their creative efforts.
- Prevent competitors from copying or closely imitating a business' product or service.
- Protect a business' distinct identity, image and ultimately its reputation.
- Build customer trust and loyalty by establishing a unique brand name or image.
As a business person, you should consider formally identifying your IP assets as part of your strategic planning. Learn more about what intellectual property is and its importance to business by reviewing the following:
- Stand out from your competitors — Make intellectual property your best business ally
Find out how to protect your patent, trademark, copyright, industrial design or integrated circuit topography and how to use IP to develop your business.
- Protecting your intellectual property in export markets
If you plan to export, you should protect your intellectual property in foreign markets.
- Canadian Intellectual Property Office
If you want to protect your invention or creative work, this organization will provide you with what you need to protect your intellectual property rights.
Forms of intellectual property
Check these sub-topics to find out the types of intellectual property protection that may apply to your intellectual activity:
Find out about automatic copyright protection in Canada, how to register for a copyright with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office for added protection, and how to access the Canadian Copyrights Database.
Get exclusive rights to the words, symbols or industrial designs used to distinguish your goods and services from others. File for a trademark or access the Canadian Trademarks Database.
Protect the rights to your invention by obtaining a patent, and access the Canadian Patent Database to search over 2 million patent documents.
- Industrial design
Find out how to protect an original design applied to a finished product, how to file for an industrial design, and how to access the Canadian Industrial Designs Database.
- Integrated circuit topographies
Did you know that IP protection is available to you for circuit designs used in many different products? Find out about applicable legislation, as well as online and printable application forms.
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