Own-it | Intellectual Property Know-How for Creative Businesses


Why do I need to register my IP rights?

Published 01.11.08 at 09:30

Copyright is the only IP right that exists automatically on creation; patents, trade marks and design rights, on the other hand, all benefit from legal registration.

There are three main benefits of registering your IP rights.

First, registration creates certainty. Once your right (for example, a design or a trade mark) is registered, there is a presumption that this right is valid and has priority over later applications (though it is always possible for registered designs, trade marks and patents to be declared invalid later on). You can also in most cases, be sure that you are not infringing an earlier IP right.

Second, registered rights are generally stronger than unregistered rights. For example, EU registered design rights last 25 years from the date of filing (renewable every five years), as opposed to EU unregistered design rights which last three years from the date of making the design available to the public.

Third, registered IP rights provide a monopoly for the use of that right. If somebody independently creates the same IP and tries to use it, you can stop them. By contrast with unregistered IP rights you have to show that your IP was copied.

Practical steps: You can register IP rights on your own, but you are better advised to instruct a solicitor or a specialist, for example, a trade mark agent, to do this for you. For information on how to register your IP rights, contact Own-it for guidance or read our factsheets on copyright, patents, trade marks and registered designs.

Content supplied by Daniel McClean. Photo credit: Madalena Pestana


Please note that this article discusses the legal position in the UK at the time of publication. It provides general information only but is not to be regarded as legal advice. You must take advice from a specialist lawyer in relation to your specific circumstances. Further, you should seek additional legal advice when dealing with parties based in other parts of the world or works originating from other parts of the world as the legal position may vary.


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