What is intellectual property? 

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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:

Forms of intellectual property

Check these sub-topics to find out the types of intellectual property 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?

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