Intellectual Property (IP) stems from your creativity and innovation and may be found in the solutions you provide for the technical problems and/or market needs that you have identified and/or addressed. In general, IP may be seen as any product of the intellect that has commercial value. Some examples of IP are:
- the underlying functionality that differentiates your products and services
- your reputation in trade
- the get-up, look and feel of your products
- product designs – the visual appeal and appearance of your goods
- the know-how that your company thrives on
- trade secrets
- original literary or artistic works
Over the last four centuries many laws have come into existence throughout the world that protect IP in much the same way that “real estate” and other forms of property have enjoyed. In this respect, IP may be bought, sold or transferred in ownership like a house, a car or a boat and like these articles it may also be ‘rented’ or ‘leased’ to others.
In the past the primary capital worth of a company or business was found in its plant, machines, buildings and other real assets. In recent times, however, a great deal of a business’ worth comprises IP. For example, a company such as Fosters Brewing has well over 50% of its capital in intellectual (invisible) property. As another example, the word or brand (trade mark) Coca Cola™ is worth many billions of dollars.
.smoorenburg. can provide advice and services in any particular area of IP as described in the other pages in this section.