Lesson 3: Types of IP

The ability to combine multiple forms of IP is an important element for a sound IP strategy. We will talk more about the mechanics of each form of IP and how they intersect or conflict in subsequent modules.

The current trend of focusing on patents as the sole form of IP protection often disregards other forms of IP that may, in fact, be more beneficial and commercially valuable.

What are the Various Forms of IP and What Do TheY Cover?

It is important to understand each form of IP in order to develop a sound and comprehensive IP strategy.

The various forms of IP exist because laws were developed to recognize and protect them. There is nothing universal or consistent about the way IP laws are designed, but IP rights remain central to the creation of value in an innovation economy.

Because IP encompasses much more than patents alone, this course will provide the necessary tools to understand and make strategic decisions about the broader range of IP and how you might use various forms of IP in combination.

Lets look more closely at each form of IP currently recognized and protected in most jurisdictions around the world.

TMWhat is a Trademark?

A trademark provides legal protection of the name or other identifying elements of a business that give it distinctiveness in the marketplace. 

What does it include?

Trademarks can include words, designs or sounds that are used to distinguish the goods or services of one person from those of others in the marketplace. 

Famous trademark examples include:

  • the golden arches of McDonald’s,
  • the apple with a bite taken out of it as the trademark symbol for Apple and
  • Coca-Cola.

Why are they important?

Trademarks are very important for brand strategy and allow you to prevent other people from trying to pass off their goods and services as yours. Trademarks not only distinguish the actual goods or services but they also enhance the reputation of the business. Different jurisdictions have different rules as to whether a trademark must be registered to obtain protection. Some jurisdictions recognize both registered and unregistered marks. In these countries, registration offers a greater scope of protection than unregistered rights. We will talk more about trademarks from a strategic perspective in subsequent modules.

Last modified: Tuesday, 20 October 2020, 11:35 AM