Intellectual property (IP) refers to property rights created through your intellectual and/or discovery efforts, and can generally be protected under patent, trade mark, copyright, trade secret, trade dress or other law.

In business terms, IP can include proprietary knowledge that has commercial significance in terms of core and subsidiary activities.

The protection of geographical indications that pinpoint the geographic origin of goods such as wine also has become significant, along with colours, sounds and other product attributes.

Other IP rights may be protected at common law or in equity. Goodwill or commercial reputation attached to a trade mark name or a product’s physical make-up may be protected by common law against passing off and injurious falsehood; while trade secrets and confidential information may be protected against breach of confidence through equity.

The role of patent and trade marks attorneys lies primarily in helping you to register IP rights of your patents, trade marks and industrial designs.