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What are the main types of intellectual property?

Property, Economy

For entrepreneurs with a unique idea, understanding the different types of intellectual property is the first step in making money from it. David Walker, founder of Grid Law, provides a comprehensive overview of patents, registered designs, trademarks and copyright.

Origins of intellectual property

The oldest form of intellectual property rights are thought to be patents and their origin can be traced back to the Statute of Monopolies 1624.

As commerce, science and technology evolved over time, new types of intellectual property rights were created to protect them.

I could easily fill a book on all the different forms of intellectual property that exist, but for most businesses, there are just four main types they should be aware of.

These are:

  • Patents
  • Registered designs
  • Trademarks
  • Copyright

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