Intellectual property rights: remember to protect your business’s creativity and secrets
A business should analyse and protect the intellectual property rights that are important for its operations. Patents and trademarks are ways of protecting yourself against imitators.
Intellectual property rights are an important part of business and innovation. A business’s intellectual property rights (IPR) relate to technology, design, trademarks, brand and trade secrets, for example.
A business can use the likes of a patent, utility model, trademark, design right and copyright to protect itself. It can use them to limit competitors’ activities and defend its own market share, as well as to conquer new markets. That is why important intellectual property rights should be protected. A business should also monitor its own rights and intervene in breaches early.
- A patent protects an invention
A patent grants the exclusive right to professional use of an invention. “Use” means things like manufacturing, selling and leasing a product based on the invention.
Read more (in Finnish): Patentti
- Utility model or short-term patent
A utility model is often called a “short-term patent”, and it is available more quickly and easily than a usual patent.
Read more (in Finnish): Hyödyllisyysmalli
- A design right protects new designs
A design right protects the visual appearance of items and patterns. The design must be new and have individual character.
Read more (in Finnish): Mallioikeus
- A trademark boosts marketing
A trademark is a recognizable sign of a product or service. It can consist of words, images or a combination of them. It sets your product and service apart from the competition’s equivalents. You can register a trademark in Finland or the entire EU.
Read more (in Finnish): Tavaramerkki
- A trade name identifies a business
A trade name is the name of the business used in commercial activities. Inactive trade names often prevent trademarks and trade names from being registered. You can thus apply to have them removed from the register.
Read more (in Finnish): Yrityksen toiminimi
- Copyright protects creative work
Copyright protects written or artistic original work. The work’s author has the sole right to decide how it is used.
Read more (in Finnish): Tekijänoikeus.
- Trade secrets
Trade secret means non-public information of financial business value. In addition to statutory protection, it is generally sensible to protect trade secrets through agreements.
Read more (in Finnish): Liikesalaisuudet
Where can I get help with IPR?
You can work out for yourself whether your invention is new and patentable, or you can ask one of the following for help: The Keksintösäätiö invention foundation, universities’ and businesses’ invention, innovation or patent agents, specialists at the Finnish Patent and Registration Office.
Many services and forms of support are available for research and development, including IPR.