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Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property (IP) forms an important and valuable asset, albeit intangible, for many businesses. IP is an effective marketing tool and can add credibility to a business, it can be sold or purchased, licensed or franchised, provide a competitive advantage and assist in generating income streams. It gives you the right to stop people stealing or copying the names of your products or brands, your inventions, the design or look of your products, things you write, make or produce.

Copyright, patents, designs and trade marks are all types of intellectual property protection.  Some you get automatically and others you have to apply for.

Intellectual property is something unique that you physically create.  An idea alone is not intellectual property.  You own IP if you created it (and it meets the requirements for a copyright, a patent or a design).

Copyright relates to the protection of writing and literary works, art, photography, films, TV, music, web content and sound recordings.

Trade marks are product names, logos, emblems and jingles.

Patents are for inventions and products, (machines and machine parts, tools and medicines).  These take a significant amount of time to obtain (circa 5 years) and it is therefore a costly process and must be protected and kept secret until they are registered.

Designs can be registered to cover the features of appearance, shape, configuration and decoration.  Registration protects the external appearance of the article.

The Isle of Man is a sophisticated location in which to own and exploit IP rights.  The Island has an efficient and cost effective financial services infrastructure providing an opportunity to manage and develop IP in the Island and worldwide without compromising its protection.

The Isle of Man has legislation and common law which encompasses all the main areas of IP.  In the case of registerable rights such as patents (government licence conferring the right to exclude others from using or selling an invention), trademarks and the relevant UK legislation extends to the Island and reflects developments in EU intellectual property law.

In the field of unregistered rights, such as copyright, unregistered designs, trade secrets, rights in databases and performing rights, the Island has its own domestic legislation (which is compliant with international standards) and common law. IQE has significant experience in this area and manages structures which hold, ring-fence and protect IP.  IQE can provide the services you need to enable you to establish suitable structures to protect your IP, appointment of patent lawyers, review of contracts, renewals of registered IP and day to administration, supported by accounting and corporate governance services.

Useful documents

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I work with a number of Corporate Service Providers across several jurisdictions and would have no hesitation in saying that IQE have proved, on numerous occasions to be both the most efficient and professional of them all. IQE has provided a comprehensive service at a consistently high level despite having to deal with some very sensitive cultural complexities reflecting our area of operations. All of the staff have been extremely helpful and will go out of their way to accommodate us. John Bourbon, MSc, FCIB, FCol Charterd FCSI,

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