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Protect your trade marks and designs in the European Union

Protect your intellectual property in the European Union

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Intellectual Property

The concept behind intellectual property (IP) is straightforward and has been with us for a long time. Wherever we go, we are surrounded by intellectual property.

Mere thoughts and ideas do not qualify; intellectual property defines and protects human innovations and creations

  • Trade marks signal the origin of products to consumers
  • Designs specify how products look
  • Copyright relates to artistic creations, such as books, music, paintings, sculptures and films
  • Patents protect technical inventions in all fields of technology

Intellectual property rewards innovators and enables everyone to benefit from their achievements.

When it comes to protection, the onus is on you. Often we give our intellectual property away; we allow it to enter the public domain. But occasionally we hit upon something special — we have a eureka moment. The more of these you can identify and protect, the more value you can add.

Eureka moments

Archimedes of Syracuse
Dominigo Fetti 'Archimedes Thoughtful´; 1620

Archimedes of Syracuse thinking in his desk

The first eureka moment occurred in Archimedes' bath in the 3rd century B.C. However, like all scientific or mathematical theories, the principle that a floating object displaces its own weight of water cannot be patented.
Patent protection is reserved for new inventions that can be used.

First trade marks
© Trustees of the British Museum

Minoan stirrup jar with an octopus trade mark from Cyprus

Minoan stirrup jar with an octopus trade mark from Cyprus; 1300-1200 B.C.

Trade marks have been with us for a long time.

Your company, your business plan and your innovative approach are full of your eureka moments. In the following pages we'll explain how to develop and protect a crucial innovation: your trade mark.

Page last updated 20-11-2013