General Questions

How can I protect intellectual property?

Various types of protection are provided for intellectual property:

  • Inventions in a technical field can be protected by patents.
  • Trademarks can be protected under trademark law.
  • Designs can be protected under design law.
  • Works of literature and art as well as computer software can be protected under copyright law.
  • Plant varieties and semiconductor topographies can be protected under the Plant Varieties and Topographies Acts.

In addition, unfair competition law provides, under certain conditions, protection against deceptive or unfair acts or practices.

Domains names are subject to different rules or agreements depending on the type of domain name, and have strong interactions with trademark and unfair competition law.

Careful assessment is required to identify the specific intellectual property rights appropriate to protect your interests in a given situation. Frequently, optimal-protection may result from a combination of different types of IP assets.

Is it necessary to register my intellectual property with an official authority?

In most jurisdictions, copyright protection takes effect when the copyrighted work is created and does not require formal registration for this purpose. All other types of intellectual property discussed here (patents, trademarks, designs, plant varieties and semiconductor topographies) require a specific registration. Domain names must also be registered.