Ideas and unique creations can exist in every business. They're important for long term financial success and can make you more competitive than your rivals. But how do you stop competitors from copying your most valuable asset?
Intellectual property (IP) represents creations of the mind or intellect that can be legally owned. IP laws allow for protection through patents, trade marks, copyright, designs, circuit layouts, and plant breeder’s rights. Almost every business has some form of IP that they need to protect.
In most cases you must formally register your IP, however automatic protection is given to copyrights, circuit layout rights, confidential information and trade secrets.
IP Australia is the federal government agency responsible for granting rights in patents, trade marks and designs. If you are considering the importance of IP in your business, the Intellectual Property Explorer tool is a useful starting point.
Here are some simple strategies for protecting your IP: