Things to Know About Intellectual Property

Written By Linda Cornacchia

The dictionary definition of Intellectual Property is “intangible property that is the result of creativity, such as patents, copyrights, etc.” It incorporates creations of the mind, inventions, literary and artistic works and symbols, names and images used in commerce.

Categories of Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property (IP) is divided into two categories

  1. Industrial Property, including patents for inventions, trademarks, industrial designs and geographical indications.
  2. Copyright; which covers literary works (such as novels, poems and plays), films, music, artistic works such as, drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures) and architectural design. Rights related to Copyright include those of performing artists in their performances, producers of phonograms in their recordings, and broadcasters in their radio and television programs.

Protecting Intellectual Property

It is up to you as an innovator to decide whether you need external help to secure IP protection.

If you have some IP that is still in the very early stages, beware of publicity, as we are living in a digital world where before you know it, your thought or idea can spread like wildfire well beyond your control which means that your IP may no longer be yours and may now belong in the public domain.

Your idea must be something new or original, but determining whether your idea is new or not is not always easy, Understanding how to apply for an IP right to protect your idea can be critical if you want to build a business and establish your presence in a market.

Getting Assistance from Professionals Regarding Your Intellectual Property

As with most things, we are not all experts on everything and need to engage the help of professionals to ensure that compliance regulations are being met and with the constant changes in legislation and even definitions, it is important to protect what is yours. This can often be a minefield and not easy to understand or where to turn to first.

Accountants are part of the equation when considering protecting your IP. They can advise how you can list your IP as an asset, what value can be ascribed to it and how to treat it from a tax perspective. Depending on the circumstances, IP assets can attract capital gains tax and stamp duty.

If you want to know more, please contact our office for a more personalised consultation with our resident expert.