Continuing from the last post, which covered copyright and design.
patent protects a new invention – either a product or a process –
which has some use. As well as being both new and useful, the product or process
must be original to the extent that it must contain an inventive
is not obvious, even to a person with knowledge and experience in the
subject with which the invention deals or is involved.
is also a range of inventions which cannot be patented, from
mathematical or scientific theories, to breeds of animals and
anything 'against public policy or morality' – the full list is
available here on the IPO's website.
The application process for a patent can be
lengthy, costly and time-consuming. Fees to the IPO range from £230
upwards and patent lawyers are among the highest paid in a high paid
trademark (often referred to as a brand) is a distinctive sign which
distinguishes your goods and services from those of your
competitors. It can be words, logos or a combination of both.
are strict rules about what is and what is not considered an
acceptable trademark – some of the rules are obvious, some not so
The IPO has all the information – see here and here.
The only way to register your trade mark is to apply to the Intellectual Property Office, and to renew the registration periodically.An
application for trademark registration starts at £170.
The above information is relevant to the UK only. I am not a lawyer, nor do I pretend to be one on the internet. If you need legal advice, ask a lawyer. If you want to know more about IP, read the wealth of information on ipo.gov.uk