Four Types of Intellectual Property for Businesses

Roshni Khatri

7th Jun'22
Four Types of Intellectual Property for Businesses | OpenGrowth

To think about a great idea and work on it, is the prime element to initiate a successful business. A new idea can bring excitement and be nerve-wracking. Your idea can be used by another person before you get the chance to cash it. So intellectual property can help you in understanding its solutions. It helps you in keeping your idea confidential so that you can have a legal right and ownership of it and no other can use it. 

In the current scenario, the business industry is grooming fast hence it is important to fix tensions between legal and technical, and for this, it is advisable to take the assistance of IPRs in a business. As it can help in the growth of the business. 

Well, let’s discuss intellectual property and its kinds!


What is Intellectual Property?

As per the World Intellectual Property Organization, intellectual property is any innovation or creation that originates in the mind. It can be an art or literature, symbol or design, name or image that is used for the best level of protection. To protect intellectual property exclusive rights are given to those who generate it. It applies to business models and ensures the intentional and accidental infringement that continues to grow.

In addition to this, the intellectual property is owned and legally protected by a person or company to use or implement without consent. The legal protection expires after some time. 


Intellectual Property Rights


Types of Intellectual Properties

It is great to opt for intellectual property, as it helps you in protecting your idea in the best possible way. In business, there are four kinds of intellectual property rights for a business and these are described :


As far as the patent is concerned, it is a government-granted monopoly that builds, sells and uses your invention. Patents are good for 20 years and some patents are good for 14 years. The patent expires after 20 years and anyone can copy, build and sell your invention after the expiration. 

The patent helps the entrepreneurs and investors to protect a new, original and useful application or product that is designed to create public value. In other words, patents are designed to prevent others from copying, using or selling your invention without permission. It is not difficult to protect the patents but it is helpful to seek a patent attorney to make sure your application is completed and submitted properly. You should know that the patents last for 20 years, once it is expired your invention becomes the public domain. It refers to the fact that anyone can sell it without the threat of recourse. 

Trade Mark

Trade Mark is a logo or mark that is applied to products and services and does not describe the products and services. Companies that have been built around a specific brand use trademarks. In trademark, a word, slogan or logo is used, and it helps in distinguishing your company from its competitors and also helps in maintaining its integrity. You can apply trademark protection for your company name, tagline, and logo or product name. It is unique in your line of business and provides protection that is valid for 10 years. 

Trademark protection expires in 10 years and is renewed with the U.S. patent and trademark office. Trade Mark is used in commercial materials to meet the criteria for renewal. Thus you can protect your asset by using the Trade Mark, as the trademark registration prevents competitors from taking advantage of the goodwill of your business. 


Intellectual Property Rights



Copyright protects the ideas, and art, such as writings, pictures, music, and other artistic forms referred to as intellectual works. It also protects the computer software and architectures. Once you create something such as literary work, it is designed by you hence you have the ownership of that. So you can take one step further and get it registered under US Copyright law. If your rights are infringed then you can file a copyright lawsuit. Thus the IPRs help in managing and repairing your business’s online reputation as it is important to run a business successfully. 

Copyright creates automatically and does not have to be claimed, it exists 70 years after the death of the author. Moreover, you can license others to use your copyrights. For example, you can use an image that you have created for your websites for fixed fees or royalties. You should keep in mind that your license agreement should be professionally drafted. You can sell your copyright or leave it to someone according to your will. With this, you should also ensure that your employees do not use the copyrights of others, like copying the images and texts without permission. 

You can subscribe to websites that provide the licensed images for you to use on your websites but you have to ensure compliance with the licensing agreement. 


Intellectual Property Rights


Trade Secrets

Sensitive information that can provide confidential business information and competitive advantage can be considered a trade secret. Such as the formula of Coca-Cola can be a trade secret that cannot be revealed to anyone. Trade Secrets become complicated while providing adequate protection. It doesn’t require any official registration, as it is just a business secret. 

If your business has trade secrets you can start protecting them by a non-disclosure agreement with those you share your business ideologies and concepts with. In addition to this, you can add clauses to the business contracts with the partners, contractors and employees. 

Thus it has an indefinite lifespan that is contingent on making sure that no one would ever divulge the secret whether intentionally or accidentally. 

Recommended: Legal Advice for Entrepreneurs.



To conclude our discussion on four prime kinds of intellectual property rights: patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets, we wish to emphasize that IPRs are financial assets. These are helpful for the registration and protection of IPRs and will lead to an indispensable way toward economic growth. 

Thus earning the money without the fear of someone else copying your ideas can help you in protecting your creation in the form of IPR. If you feel that someone is using your ideas or creation without updating you then you can take the action against it and can knock on the door of the court. You can infringer and claim monetary damages. 

In short intellectual property rights are exclusive rights that are given to the inventor to exclude others from using it in any manner without their permission.


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A keen observer, who loves to spend time with nature. A fun loving person, enjoys to explore the new aspects of life. Passionate about reading and learning new things. Roshni is dedicated towards her work and has worked in different professions.