What is intellectual property? 

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Intellectual property is the legal right 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. Without realizing it, 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 for a variety of reasons. Intellectual property can:

  • Establish a right to, and ownership of, your intellectual creations so you can profit from them
  • Prevent competitors from copying or closely imitating your products or services
  • Protect the distinct identity, image, and reputation of your business
  • Build customer trust and loyalty by establishing a unique brand name or image

As a business owner, 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:

Forms of intellectual property

Learn about the types of IP protection that may apply to your intellectual activity.

  • Copyright

    Find out about automatic copyright protection in Canada, how to register a copyright and how to access the Canadian Copyrights Database.

  • Trademark

    Get exclusive rights to the words, symbols or industrial designs used to distinguish your goods and services from others.

  • Patent

    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 and access a database of industrial designs.

  • Integrated circuit topographies

    Did you know that IP protection is available to you for circuit designs used in many different products?

  • Trade Secrets

    Learn how trade secrets can be used as an alternative to patents in order to protect your invention.

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