Intellectual Property Management

Intellectual property (IP) management is about protecting and managing valuable ideas and innovations. A company’s IP can offer customers something new and different which helps to distinguish the business from its competitors. The company can also sell or license these rights, generating an important revenue stream.  


Intellectual property rights are valuable assets for your business and so you should protect them against infringement, otherwise their worth will be diluted.


You may be surprised at how many aspects of your business you can protect. For example, its name and logo, designs, inventions, works of creative or intellectual effort or trade marks that distinguish your business are all types of IP. Some IP rights are automatically safeguarded by intellectual property law, but there are also other types of legal protection you must apply for.


This unit begins by discussing the importance of intellectual property, and examines how to determine which intellectual property to legally protect. The unit then introduces four key forms of intellectual property: patents, trademarks, copyright, and trade secrets. It provides a brief discussion on confidentiality agreements and trade secrets.


Learning Objectives

When you have successfully completed this unit you will be able to:

  • Define the term ‘intellectual property’ and explain its importance.
  • Discuss the four major forms of intellectual property, namely patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets.
  • Specify the rule of thumb for determining whether a particular piece of intellectual property is worth the time and expense of protecting it.
  • Describe the process for obtaining a patent. 


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Unit Elements

How to set up a company in your country

National case studies on Entrepreneurship






Ent-teach- Entrepreneurship Teaching - project code 2011-1-NL1-LEO05-05202. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission through the Leonardo da Vinci - Lifelong Learning Programme. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.