Understanding intellectual property (IP)

Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind. It could include a brand, logo, invention, design or artistic work, or new plant variety.

Tips for protecting your unique ideas

Avoid these common IP-related mistakes to set yourself up for success.

  • Know your IP

    1. Know your IP

    Identify your IP assets. What sets your organisation apart from competitors? Understand what your IP is worth to understand if it's worth protecting.

  • Do research

    2. Do your research

    Research the market to understand your competitors and consumers. Ensure your ideas are new and don't infringe on existing IP rights.  

  • Publicity

    3. Beware of publicity

    It's important not to share your idea until your IP right is registered. Publishing your idea before it's protected may prevent you from claiming ownership of your IP.

  • NDA

    4. Keep it confidential

    If you must talk about your IP to others, use a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) to protect yourself. You can use our IP contract generator to create one for you.

  • Don't wait

    5. Don't wait until it's too late

    It's important to be sure of your IP before you register it to avoid costly mistakes. But, the longer your IP goes unprotected, the higher the risk of others adopting it.

Case studies

See all

Shining a light on IP protection

06 February 2020 | 2 MIN READ

Knog talks about the value of their intellectual property (IP) and how they protect their innovative products.

Plant breeders rights Apply Enforce

Plant breeder's rights for the plant nursery industry

18 March 2016 | 2 MIN READ

Here's how a small family business became a key player in the plant breeder's rights (PBR) system.

Trade marks Design rights

DesignByThem: IP and design

11 May 2021 | 4 MIN READ

Here's how DesignByThem use trade marks and design rights for their unique products.