Intellectual Property (IP) is the result of creative and intellectual endeavour.  IP Rights (IPRs) are intangible property that can be traded, licensed, sold, etc.  IPRs exist as registered rights - Patents, Registered Trade Marks, Registered Designs, Plant Breeders' Rights - and unregistered rights - Copyright, Unregistered Designs, Unregistered Trade Marks, Confidential Information and Trade Secrets. 

IPRs encourage the creation, development and growth of new technologies, industry and commerce, by providing protection for the products, processes, brands and works which you develop or create.

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All IP supports a business and adds value.  However, some IP, like Patents and Trade Marks, are easier to value.  In a transaction reported in 2012, Microsoft® paid $1 billion for AOL®’s Patent portfolio, comprising around 800 Patents.  That equates to about $1.25 million per Patent.
 
The deterrent value of IPRs is an important benefit that cannot be quantified.  By showing to your competitors that you are IP savvy, i.e. have protected your IP and are likely to enforce it against unscrupulous competition, in many situations disputes are avoided without your knowing.


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Trade Marks and Patents


Patentable Subject-Matter in the UK


Designs and Copyright


To find out further information, a good place to start is the U.K. Intellectual Property Office's website  www.ipo.gov.uk

Free information and funding can be obtained through the .gov website at Innovate UK - Technology Startegy Board


A further very useful source of free information is Enterprise Europe Network (East) www.enterprise-europe.co.uk/



To find out more about Patent Attorneys, then visit the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys' website www.cipa.org.uk

To find out more about Trade Mark Attorneys, then visit the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys' website www.itma.org.uk/   

To find out more about IPReg, then visit the Regulation Board's website
www.ipreg.org.uk


Further information can be found at:

the European Patent Office's website www.epo.org  

 the World Intellectual Property Organization's website www.wipo.int/portal/index.html.en


the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market's website oami.europa.eu/ows/rw/pages/index.en.do
 

and the United States Patent & Trademark Office's website www.uspto.gov/