Intellectual Property

As a business, you’ve probably heard the term ‘intellectual property’ (or IP for short) but you might be unsure of what it means. 

Your business is likely to own or use intellectual property (IP).  Typically, this may include your business name, logo, website, technical innovation, software, images and the look of your product to name a few.

These important assets, which often go unrecognised, could play an important role in the sustainability and growth of your business both domestically and internationally.

You know copyright exists but how does it apply to your business and your website? Are you unsure of the difference between registering your company with Companies House and registering your trade mark with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO)?

To help you answer any questions you have, the IPO has a suite of ‘IP for Business’ tools that can help you understand the basics of IP and how best to protect it. Best of all, they’re completely free to use and are accessible via desktops, tablets and smart phones.

Why is intellectual property important?

It is almost certain that every business, large or small, will own or use intellectual property (IP) even without realising it.

In a recent survey, 86% of UK small businesses said it’s important to know how to protect their intellectual property, but what exactly is IP?

IP covers any original creation, not just inventions, and can include your business name, logo, images, promotional material and even your website.

Below is a video regarding the importance of protecting your intellectual property.


There are four main types of IP:

Intellectual property assets can be integral to the growth and sustainability of a business. When properly managed, the value of your IP can far outweigh the physical assets, accounting for over 70% of your business’ value. 

To learn more about the different areas of IP and how they apply to business, watch the IPO's short IP Basics video.

This should give you an idea of how important your IP rights are to the growth and sustainability of your business. It’s important to identify and protect these rights early, so check out our IP for Business pages to help you make a start.

Getting started

It’s important to identify and protect your IP early on, but if you’re new to the subject, where do you start? 

Watch the video below from Business Support Helpline regarding how to trade mark and copyright.

Other useful links:

Growth hub providers – help with intellectual property

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