In this next series of discussions we shall be covering Intellectual Property. This will include the types available and the importance of protection. I will also include a figurative example of how a design firm can implement these forms as we go through. 

Intellectual property is any form of original creation that can be bought or sold, and as such it becomes a valuable asset to companies. These ideas can be worth billions of pounds, for example Coca-Cola’s intellectual property is a large portion of the company’s assets, and therefore some form of protection is required to prevent others from using the creation. 

There are a number of traditional methods for this, such as patents, copyright, design rights, trademarks, trade secrets and confidentiality agreements. There are however new emerging protection methods that are designed to encourage growth of technology and understanding, such as the creative commons licenses and shareware. By utilising these forms of protection effectively it is possible to secure the company’s creations against infringement.

The example company that I shall be using to explain usage is a fictional freelance design consultancy called Caru Design Ltd (caru meaning to love in Welsh). Originally the consultancy was going to be named MJD Design Ltd, however upon researching via Companies House it became apparent that there were existing design based companies with the same or similar names. As such it was decided to avoid any potential impersonation issues by naming the company different. By using Companies House it is possible to check for existing companies for names, it also allows for users to view a company’s finances and whether it’s in liquidation or dissolved. By making the company a private limited company certain benefits are gained, mostly in terms of liability, such as if the company were to face financial difficulty the shareholders are not personally responsible for the company’s debts. 

They are a newly established studio and have taken location in the highly competitive city of London. Due to its location and the competition, Caru Design Ltd would require an intellectual property plan to protect the work produced and encourage more clients to choose the company since they know their market secrets will be maintained.

In the next discussion we shall go on to explore the types of protection and how to implement them!