Types of Intellectual Property Protection


If you want to protect your intellectual property from others to avoid the chance of being used without your permission, it is best to seek legal protection in this case. Seeking property rights over your intellectual property helps create rightful ownership that prevents and eliminates any chance of unlawful use of your property. Let’s discuss four main types of intellectual property protections.

Four Types of Intellectual Property Protections

There are four common types of intellectual property protection that ensure your property security and protection.

Trade Secrets

This kind of protection refers to private information that is essential for a business in terms of providing a competitive advantage in the marketplace. This is what makes this information the most important yet most sensitive. If another company acquires a trade secret, it could be dangerous for the original holder. This information includes proprietary systems, strategies, formulas, and other information that is not for commercial use.

When a business or an individual has trade secret protection, no other outsider can copy the idea. Trade secrets do not require any official registration. You, as the owner of a trade secret, can involve legal help in case your trade secret is stolen or copied. In this scenario, you can ask a court to punish the person who stole your trade secret.


A patent is one of the most common types of intellectual property protection. A patent is limited period protection that helps protect several discoveries or inventions that are of great use for the business. This could include different aspects such as a new machine, formula, article, process, article of manufacture, or set of methods.

When a business owner or an individual holds a patent, others are eliminated by law from offering sale or making/ using the product.


Most people confuse copyrights with patents. However, they are not the same. Unlike a patent, a copyright is intellectual property protection that protects the original works, i.e., the matter of authorship. This could include art, music, literary work, films, architectural drawings, computer software, and others.

Copyright protections are simpler and more straightforward. It’s a simple formula — you create something, and it is yours unless you sell it under law. In case your copyright protections are violated, you can seek legal help.


Lastly, the fourth type of intellectual property protection, trademark, is a particular phrase, word, or symbol that makes a brand stand out. Unlike patents that protect invention and discoveries or copyrights that protect creations and authorship, trademarks are protections that help distinguish the product or service of one party from another. Some examples include the symbol of Adidas; it is recognized by everyone, making this identity its trademark.

Moreover, patents and copyrights can expire, but trademark rights can be held indefinitely. Trademarks do not require any registration like copyright, however, registering can be beneficial as it offers additional advantages.

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