Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property Audit

Identifying the Intellectual Assets that reside within an organisation is not always straightforward.  The following lists some categories and items that can help to identify what Intellectual Assets an organisation owns.  This is the first step in carrying out an Intellectual Property Audit.  Intellectual Assets are classed as intangible assets.

Non Disclosure Agreements

A non-disclosure agreement (NDA), also known as a confidentiality agreement, confidential disclosure agreement (CDA), proprietary information agreement (PIA), or secrecy agreement, is a legal contract between at least two parties that outlines confidential material, knowledge, or information that the parties wish to share with one another for certain purposes, but to which they wish to restrict access by third parties.  It is a contract through which the parties agree not to disclose information covered by the agreement.  An NDA creates a confidential relationship between the parties to pro

Patents

The term patent usually refers to a right granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter.

Trademarks

Trademarks are a means of ensuring that an organisation and its products are easily recognisable by customers and the business community.  They form part of an organisation’s brand identity and can include:

  • Names
  • Logos
  • Images
  • Symbols
  • Music
  • Slogans
  • Domain Names
  • Hand signals or body movements

Trademarks have value and consideration should therefore be given to protecting them against unauthorised use.

An organisation can have multiple trademarks.

Copyright

The Facts

  • Copyright protects original materials against them being used without the owner’s permission
  • Copyright is an automatic right and there is no official application process
  • Copyrights does not protect  ideas - this is the function of Patents
  • Copyright does not protect names or titles - this is the function of Trademarks
  • Copyright  applies to any medium including copy produced on electronic media
  • Copyright material can be marked with the symbol ‘©’
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