Intellectual Property Laws (IP) encourage innovation and commerce by defining rights that protect ideas and reputations. Rights can be enforced to prevent others from unauthorized activity. Some rights are available automatically, while others must be applied for. Some ideas cannot be protected, due to the nature of the idea or delay in applying for a right.
- There are several main types of IP available:
- Patents for inventions protect the way things work (rights must be applied for)
- Industrial designs protect the way things look (rights must be applied for)
- Trademarks protect brand names, logos, and slogans
- Copyright protects expressions in writing, art, recordings, and performances
- Trade Secrets protect secrets of economic value