Intellectual property law enables people to own the work they create. Intellectual property rights (IPR), very broadly, are rights granted to creators and owners of works that are the result of human intellectual creativity.
These works can be in the industrial, scientific, literary or artistic domains. They can be a brand, an invention, a design, a song or another intellectual creation. Intellectual property (IP) can be owned, bought and sold.
The principal intellectual property rights are:
This guide will focus on the intellectual property rights which are important for those working in colleges, universities and other learning providers. A clear understanding of how intellectual property law operates can help those working in FE and HE to maximise the use of other people’s materials when engaged in innovation, collaboration and research, as well as protecting their own work when relevant.
In general, the effect of intellectual property law is to grant the creator of a work certain controls over the exploitation of that work thereby encouraging invention and creativity. Some rights require registration, for example, patent right, whilst other rights accrue automatically upon the work’s creation as is the case with database right.