What is Intellectual Property and How to Protect it?
What is intellectual property?
Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind such as inventions, literary and artistic works, designs or brands.
Why is protecting intellectual property important?
IP is one of the most important and valuable intangible assets for your business. It can give your business the competitive advantage to profit and grow. IP can be protected by law. These rights protect your core business and enhances its market value. It also deters your competitors from exploiting your protected IP.
How do I protect my intellectual property?
There are different types of IP such as patents, trademarks, trade secrets, copyright and design and some countries recognize more than others. IP rights give creators exclusive rights over the use of their creations.
The three most common types of IP rights are:
A patent grants you exclusive rights to your new, original and useful invention. It prevents others from using, making or selling your invention without your permission. A patent is protected for 20 years from the date of filing and needs to be maintained annually from the fifth year onwards.
Apply for a patent here:
A trademark identifies the origins of goods or services and distinguishes them from other traders. Trademarks can be in the form of letters, words, names, signatures, labels, devices, tickets, shapes and colour, or any combination of these elements. A registered trademark is protected for 10 years.
Apply to register a trademark here:
A copyright protects the original creative expression of ideas in tangible forms. It protects works such as music, films, plays, books, art, videos, computer programmes, photographs and paintings. Owning the copyright to these works grants you control over their use and distribution. It prevents others from reproducing, publishing, performing, communicating to the public or adapting your work.
Find out more on copyright here:
Intellectual Property Office of Singapore. “About IP.” Accessed June 15, 2021.
Intellectual Property Office of Singapore. “Copyright.” Accessed June 15, 2021.
Intellectual Property Office of Singapore. “Design.” Accessed June 15, 2021.
Intellectual Property Office of Singapore. “Patent.” Accessed June 15, 2021.
Intellectual Property Office of Singapore. “Trade Mark.” Accessed June 15, 2021.
Traylor, Adelee. E. (2019, November 25). “Intellectual Property 101: What is It and Why Should You Protect It?”
World Intellectual Property Organization. (2020). “What is Intellectual Property?”