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Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)

Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) provide legal protection for ideas and inventions, giving creative artists, inventors and businesses control over how their Intellectual Property (IP) assets are used. The Centre provides information and support to help you identify and protect your Intellectual Property. The four main IPRs are explained in this video from the Intellectual Property Office.

What is Glasgow's Business and IP Centre?


A patent protects new inventions and covers how things work, what they do, how they do it, what they are made of and how they are made. A patent gives the owner the right to prevent others from making, using, importing or selling the invention without permission.

Find out more about patents here

Registered designs

Registered designs protect the appearance of an object in the geographical region in which you register it. The visual appearance of an object can include colour, shape, pattern, texture, material, etc. Registered designs can include clothes, puzzles, furniture and medical equipment.

Find out more about design rights here.

Trade marks

Trade marks, broadly speaking, indicate the origin of goods or services. Traditionally this was done by using words, logos, pictures or a combination of these elements, now trade marks can also be sounds and/or gestures. Shapes of products can also be registered. 

Find out more about trade marks here.


Copyright is protection for literary or artistic works. Copyright does not protect ideas for works. It is only when the work has been captured (fixed) in hard copy that it is protected. For example an idea for a book cannot be protected, but once you have written the manuscript then copyright applies.

Find out more about copyright here.

Useful Links

The Intellectual Property Office
The IPO UK is the official government body responsible for granting intellectual property rights in the United Kingdom. The website of the IPO UK contains a vast amount of information on all forms of intellectual property including what the different types of intellectual property protect, how to apply for the various intellectual property rights and the necessary forms and lists of relevant fees.

European Union Intellectual Property Office
EUIPO, is the EU body responsible for both designs and trademarks that cover the entire EU. It is based in Alicante, Spain.

World Intellectual Property Organization
WIPO is the global forum for intellectual property services, policy, information and cooperation.


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