Trademarks and copyright

Why protect your designs and ideas and why you should copy other creations or designs.

What benefit is there for me to protect my ideas and designs?

If you have a good business idea, copyrighting and trade marking are ways to protect your creation or invention (known as ‘intellectual property’) from being exploited by others so that you can benefit from your labours.

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is there to you to get the right type of protection for your creation or invention.

Intellectual Property Office (external website)

Why should I not copy other people’s creations or inventions?

If an item is covered by copyright or a registered trademark then manufacturing or selling unauthorised copies without the owner’s permission is a serious criminal offence. This is often referred to as ‘counterfeiting’.

The following acts of parliament cover counterfeiting of products:

  • Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988
  • Trade Marks Act 1994

Important information

Some offences under the above acts carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

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