What is intellectual property?
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:
- 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
Learn about the types of IP protection that may apply to your intellectual activity.
Find out about automatic copyright protection in Canada, how to register a copyright 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.
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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