Copyright is comprised in any literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work. These are automatically provided with copyright protection and do not need to be registered. For this protection to be enabled, the work must be recorded.
Restrictions exist within the law of copyright in order to prevent copying of work, issuing work to the public and performing or broadcasting the work. There are exceptions to allow these restrictions but only if certain criteria has been met.
The concept of protection for design rights falls under the Copyright Design and Patents Act 1988. The objective behind the protection is that owners may design work in a specific way and would therefore become part of work that attracts customers.
There are three ways in which to protect a design right; registered design, artistic copyright and unregistered design. Registered design is given under the Registered Designs Act 1949, artistic copyright and unregistered design is given protection under the Copyright Design and Patents Act 1988.
Please see our Design Rights page for more information.
A trademark is defined as a word or symbol that enables an individual to identify a business. For a trademark to be registrable it must be distinctive and not descriptive. The law of trademark is to act as a guarantee of quality and indicate the goods origin to the consumer.
Please see our Trademark page for more information.
This offence occurs when another individual uses the same or similar name or description which has the effect of confusion with the public.
Please see our Passing Off page for more information.
The effect of a patent is to protect an invention. There are strict guidelines as to what can be registered to be a patent. An invention can only be registered as a patent if it could not have been created with information available to the public or contained within another patent, would not be obvious to someone in the particular expert field and must be capable of industrial application.
Please see our Patent page for more information.