Managing and protecting your intellectual property


After much work and effort you have finally made the breakthrough and have your big idea. Perhaps it was a slow and arduous process based on iteration and refinement, or maybe a moment of genius worthy of Archimedes in his bathtub shouting ‘Eureka!’ No matter how it happened, now is the time for you to do something with your new product or service, but first you need to manage and protect your intellectual property (IP).

Figure 1 Thomas Jefferson, Third President of the United States of America

Thomas Jefferson, the US statesman, insisted that ideas cannot be owned, yet in many ways this is exactly what intellectual property is all about. In this unit you will explore the key elements of intellectual property as they relate to start-ups and entrepreneurial businesses.

Please note: while this course is intended to provide you with general guidance it should not be construed as definitive legal advice nor should it be regarded as such.

1 What is intellectual property?