Intellectual Property Advice
The Business & IP Centre in Northamptonshire Libraries is a member of the Intellectual Property Office's UK Patent Library Network providing users with local access to patent, trade mark, designs and copyright information.
Intellectual property: one-to-one advice
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a 1:1 on how the principles of IP relate to your business, invention or creative idea.
Intellectual Property Office
It's important to identify and protect your IP early on, but if you're new to the subject, where do you start?
The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is the government body responsible for granting IP rights.
IP for Business from the IPO is a range of online tools designed to help you understand, identify, protect and exploit your IP assets to their fullest potential. Please note that you will need to register before using the resources.
The IPO online training tools help to understand how IP works and what can be protected using patents, copyright, trade marks and design. Please note that you will need to register before using the resources.
The IP Master Class is a specialist course for business professionals. It will help you develop an in-depth understanding of IP and practical skills you can use in a business environment. Can be completed in a classroom (face-to-face) setting or online.
Copyright is an automatic right that doesn't need to be registered. It applies to the expression of an idea such as literature, music or art.
Further information is available from the Intellectual Property Office - Copyright.
A patent protects your invention and lets you take legal action against anyone who makes, uses, sells or imports your invention without your permission.
Further information, including how to apply for a patent online, is available from the Intellectual Property Office - Patents. It is also recommended that you seek advice from a chartered patent attorney.
Search existing patents
Before you apply for a patent it is worthwhile conducting a search of existing patents that may already protect part, or all, of your invention.
Espacenet - Free access to more than 100 million patent documents worldwide, from 1836 to date.
Patentscope - Free access to more than 72 million patent documents including international patent applications and some national and regional patent offices.
Registered designs protect the look and appearance of a product.
Further information, including how to apply for a registered design, is available from the Intellectual Property Office - Designs.
Search for registered designs
There are a number of free registered design databases.
Lorcano Classification - An international classification used for the registration of industrial designs.
British National - Designs registered in the UK, supplied by the Intellectual Property Office.
Designview - Registered designs for all European Union Member States.
A trade mark is any sign used by a trader to distinguish their goods and services from those of others.
Further information, including how to apply for a trade mark online, is available from the Intellectual Property Office - Trade marks.
Search for trade marks
Article 6ter - Details state emblems, official hallmarks, etc. that are not allowed to be registered or used as trade marks.
Nice Classification - An international classification of goods and services applied for the registration of trade marks.
Vienna Classification - An international classification of the figurative elements of trade marks.
USPTO - US database of registered trade marks and pending applications.
Community Trade Mark - Comprehensive trade marks information for all European Union Member States.
Madrid System - The international trade mark system for registering and managing marks worldwide.
TMView - Details of trade marks from all participating offices.
British National - Trade marks registered in the UK, supplied by the Intellectual Property Office.
Search UK trademark classes - Search for the goods and services needed when applying to register a UK trade mark