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We can help you to manage your intellectual assets more effectively, but before you apply for our specialist support service, see if the Intellectual Property Office has the information you need.

Another bright idea

Machines with Vision Limited has benefited significantly from the support of Stuart Watson, an intellectual assets specialist at Scottish Enterprise. We can honestly say that this support at a critical stage in the life of the company has enabled us to move forward from a concept to a viable and funded plan.

Antony Ashbrook, CEO, Machines with Vision Ltd.

In the first instance, the Intellectual Property Office can provide a wealth of information and guidance. Our specialist support goes beyond that, but you'll need to have a firm understanding of the basics before talking to us. First up, patents:

You've developed a new product which is totally unique. How do you make sure nobody copies it?

You might want to investigate whether or not your development could be protected by a patent. Patents protect new inventions and cover how they work, what they do and how they do it. For an innovation to be patentable, it must be new, distinctive and it cannot have been made public. To find out if patenting might be the best way to protect your innovation, find out more here:

More about patents

You have a strong brand. How do you make sure none of your competitors try to replicate it?

Trade marks can protect your brand and can make sure that nobody else can trade under your brand name/logo. Find out more about how you can trade mark your brand here:

More about trade marks

Your product has a unique design. How do you make sure it isn't copied?

You can register your unique design to make sure that nobody else can copy it – and it’s not just ‘products’ which can be protected this way: textile designs, character designs and lots of other things can be covered too. 

More about design

You want to work with other companies to pitch for contracts. How do you protect confidential information?

Trade secrets can be an extremely important business assets and one which you may not want to become widely known. 

If you feel there is a risk that information might not be kept in confidence, then you can ask third parties to sign a confidentiality, or non disclosure, agreement. This means that, if they disclose any of the information covered by the agreement then you can take legal action. A sample agreement can be found here:

Guide to non-disclosure agreements

How do you protect drawings, recordings, photos and written material?

All creative materials are covered by copyright. This is an automatic right that covers materials ranging from photographs to novels and from training manuals to promotional materials. Although you don’t have to officially register copyright, you do have to manage it in order to ensure it is effectively protected. 

More about copyright 

You can license or sell your intellectual property, but how much is it worth?

IP is like any other type of business asset, it can be sold or licensed to third parties who can exploit markets which you don’t want to enter. Licensing your IP is an effective way to bring a new revenue stream into your business. 

Find out how much it might be worth, and get an idea of how to go about licensing it with these two guides:

Guide to valuing your intellectual property

Guide to licensing your intellectual property

Couldn't find what you're looking for?

Get more in-depth support from our IA specialists. Apply for the service here:

Manage your intellectual property and assets