About Assimilate IP
At Assimilate IP, we are committed to delivering high quality intellectual property (IP) training for business and industry. As experienced and qualified IP professionals we recognise the importance of IP Rights (IPRs) in today's market and the value they can add to your business.
With our experience of working in innovative and creative industries, much of it within global patent departments, our IP professionals have a deep understanding of the value of IP rights in business today.
We are also aware that you are increasingly encountering IPRs in your workplace and need to understand and deal with them.
Our training courses are designed to improve your understanding and to give you the practical skills you need to work confidently with IPRs to meet your business objectives.
We believe that the best way of sharing our knowledge and experience is in small, interactive groups, combining a mixture of presentations with case studies and group exercises to encourage discussion and reinforce learning. We also love to share our expertise through our blog.
On completion of our courses, you will have gained a deeper understanding of IP law and IPRs, helping you to make informed decisions and giving you the confidence and practical skills to apply your knowledge in a professional capacity.
What are Intellectual Property Rights?
Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) are legal rights associated with creative activity or commercial reputation and goodwill. IPRs protect ‘intangible property’ such as literary and artistic works, inventions and computer programmes. Examples include patents, utility models, copyright, registered designs, trade marks, trade secrets, domain names and plant breeders’ rights.
Some of these rights exist as soon as they are created (e.g. copyright) while others must be registered at national Intellectual Property Offices (e.g. patents)
IPRs are designed to reward the creative and innovative efforts of the individual or entity for a limited time period or to protect the reputation and goodwill of traders. They provide legal remedies that deter others from copying the owner’s creative works or benefiting from their reputation or goodwill. In return, society benefits from the making public of the creative work or invention, and traders behaving in a reputable manner
IPRs can be extremely valuable and can be licensed, sold and/or enforced
Examples of Intellectual Property Rights
Patents protect inventions which have a technical effect and are granted for novel and inventive products and methods in most areas of technology (e.g.in the engineering, computer, chemical and biological fields). However, some areas of technology are excluded from patentability (e.g. methods of treatment of the human or animal body). Patents are awarded by national or regional Intellectual Property Offices and typically provide protection for a period of up to 20 years.
Utility Models or “Petty Patents” can protect ‘minor product innovations’ relating to products in certain states (e.g. France, Germany, China, Japan). The examination process is much faster than with patents and so has advantages if the rights holder wishes to enforce their rights quickly (and before a patent grants). The duration of protection varies from state to state and is typically from 6 to 10 years.
Trade Marks are associated with a company’s brand or reputation. The UK Trade Mark Act defines a trade mark as:
“any sign capable of being represented graphically which is capable of distinguishing goods or services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings”
Examples include Words, Symbols, Slogans, Sounds, Smells, Colours. The mark must be registered before national or regional Intellectual Property Offices where they undergo examination and, if considered registerable, can provide indefinite protection if renewed regularly (typically every 10 years).
Registered Designs protect the shape and configuration of a product which is broadly defined as any industrial or handicraft item other than a computer program, including packaging, get-up, graphic symbols, typographic type faces and parts intended to be assembled into a complex product. National and regional Intellectual Property Offices examine applications for registered designs and, if considered registerable, can provide protection for 25 years.
Copyright rewards the making of and investment in original, creative works and is an example of an automatic or unregistered right. Copyright protects the expression of the idea, not the idea itself. Examples of works which are subject to copyright are literary works, dramatic works, artistic works, musical works, broadcasts, sound recordings, films and typographical arrangements. The duration of the copyright varies depending on the nature of the works, but for literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works it can extend to 70 years from the death of the author.
Trade Secrets are considered as any information that is secret (not generally known among or readily accessible to persons within the relevant circles of trade), has commercial value because it is secret, and has been subject to reasonable steps to keep it secret by the person lawfully in control of the information. Examples of trade secrets include technical information, know-how, inventions not yet filed as patents, processes, software, business plans and financial data.