You’ve probably already considered insurance to protect your small business from accidents or damage. Did you know you can also protect your business’s intellectual property (IP)? 

IP can be incredibly valuable for your small business so it’s important to understand what it is and how to protect it.

IP refers to creations of the mind such as a brand, logo, invention, design, artistic work or a new plant variety. By registering your IP, you can legally protect your idea and have exclusive rights to profit from them.

Types of IP that can be registered:

There are four main types of IP that can be registered with IP Australia, the Australian government agency that administers IP rights:

  1. trade marks – protect your logo, word, phrase, letter, number, sound, scent, picture, movement, aspect of packaging, or any combination of these. A trade mark is one of the most commonly-used IP rights for a small business as it protects branding and helps customers distinguish a good or service in a competitive market.
  2. patents – protect any device, substance, method or process that's new, inventive and useful
  3. design rights – protect the overall appearance of your new and distinctive product
  4. plant breeder’s rights – protect the new plant variety you have developed.