Intellectual Property

"A man's right to the product of his mind"

There are five main aspects of intellectual property.
They differ in what they protect, how long they last, what they enforce, and conditions to acquire them


  • Protects functionality
  • Invention needs to be new, inventive/non-obvious and practical
  • Lasts up to 20 years
  • Need to register this

Patents encourage businesses to invest in research and design

Can be expensive. > $10k


  • Sword -> Royalty, Cease and Desist
  • Shield -> Deter competitors, creates risk and uncertainty against others
  • Treasure chest -> Negotiate deals, valuation, capital investment

Validity: Some things cannot be patented

Scope needs a balance between broadness (affects all) and narrowness (different to others)

Two patents could conflict - stalemate

Technical advantage > Business advantage


  • Protects appearance
  • 10-25 years


  • Protects brands
  • Signifies origin of a product
  • Indefinite duration
  • "TM trademark" - common law
  • "R" - registered
  • Protects the expression of an idea
  • Lasts until owner's death + 70
  • Automatic

Trade Secret

  • Protects confidential information