Frequently Asked Questions

NB: The answers set out here are simplifications which are supplied for guidance only.

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Intellectual Property News

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Patents are used to protect inventions. A product or process that has a new technical feature can be patented and benefit from a 20-year term of legal protection.

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Trademarks (also spelt “trade marks”) are trade names, logos and other types of representations which are used by traders to distinguish their goods and services from those of other traders.

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Registered Designs

Designs relate to the way a product looks … its appearance and visual appeal. Designs can be registered as functional designs or as aesthetic designs.

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Copying is a normal way of learning but not all forms of copying are lawful.

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Plant Breeders' Rights

Plant Breeders' Rights (also known as plant variety rights) are used to protect the exclusive rights of a plant breeder over propagating material and/or harvested material of a new plant variety.  A new variety must be distinct, uniform and stable before it will qualify for Plant Breeders’ Rights.

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