Before applying for a patent, you should make sure it really is the best option for your invention.  Patents should not be confused with the other kinds of intellectual property rights available:

  • utility models – to protect technical innovations which might not qualify for a patent
  • copyright – protects creative and artistic works such as literary texts, musical compositions and broadcasts against unauthorised copying and certain other uses
  • trade marks – distinctive signs identifying brands of products or services; they may be made up of two- or three-dimensional components such as letters, numbers, words, shapes, logos or pictures, or even sounds
  • designs – protect a product’s visual appearance, i.e. its shape, contours or colour.