Lesson 3: Types of Intellectual Property

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 to focus on patenting 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 The 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 the term 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.

Let us look more closely at each form of IP currently recognized and protected in most jurisdictions throughout the world.

What is a Patent?

patentLegal protection over “inventions”. An invention consists of the useful products of human scientific and inventive inquiry.

What does it include?

Patents cover new inventions and any new and useful improvements to an existing invention. Inventions include things like machines, a new process for doing something and the composition of something.

In Canada in order for an invention to be patentable it has to meet the following criteria:

The invention has to be new and not have been publicly disclosed.
The invention must actually work. It must be capable of operating as claimed and have some useful purpose.
The invention cannot be obvious to a person of ordinary skill in the technology involved.

Each country will have its own tests to determine patentability although most will roughly follow the criteria listed above. National patent laws require that patents be registered in order for patent rights to exist. We will talk more about patents from a strategic perspective in subsequent modules.

Last modified: Wednesday, 4 October 2017, 3:44 PM