How do you protect your intellectual property?

By Alan Harper

Charities, like any organisation or business, frequently use and create intellectual property (IP), for example drawings, photographs or logos, as part of their activities. It needs to be clear who owns the IP that is used or created to make sure that the rights vesting in it are owned by the correct entity and can be protected. This article explains the general rules in relation to the ownership of the main types of IP.

Copyright seeks to protect the form of expression of ideas. It protects, for example, written works, scripts, drawings, sound recordings, films and broadcasts. This IP right arises automatically upon creation of a copyright work.

In relation to copyright works, the general rule is that the author of the work, defined as the person who creates the work, will be the owner of that copyright…

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