Intellectual property (IP) is in virtually every business, right from the moment you come up with your idea.
Logos, brand names, inventions, designs, and valuable business information can be valuable business assets and protected through IP rights known as patents, trademarks, industrial designs, copyrights, and trade secrets.
Identify your IP and protect your idea
- Start by identifying your IP. Use the IP inventory checklist to explore the types of IP you could protect.
- Now is a good time to make sure you know and can prove who owns the ideas and creations.
- Learn about ways to protect your IP as a trade secret while you are thinking about taking your idea to the market.
- If you think your idea can be protected with a patent, industrial design or trademark, search for existing IP rights to learn if your creation is unique and novel. Searching and finding relevant IP can be complex. Consider contacting an IP professional to help you.
Investigate the business opportunity
- Write a business plan to assess if your idea is commercially viable. The Business Development Bank of Canada has templates designed to help you set your business on the right path and increase your chances of success.
- Learn about ways to take your idea to the marketplace.
- Assessing the value of your IP can help you determine what type of protection to apply for. It can also be useful information for potential investors or when you seek financing.
Get the IP rights you need to take your idea to the market
- Apply for applicable IP rights in Canada and consider protecting your IP outside Canada.
- You should strongly consider getting help from an IP professional.
- If you do not own all of the IP that you need to enter a market, then you may need to license or buy IP rights from the owners.
The IP foundation series provides core knowledge on IP.