Intellectual property (IP) refers to the range of rights to use, and restrict others from using, original ideas or 'creations of the mind' which include inventions, literary and artistic works, designs, logos, names and business imagery. IP is a core asset of many small businesses and the main types are:
- trade marks
- design rights, and
Protecting your IP is vital to securing your business interests and, if you are going to discuss confidential matters with another business or individual, you should consider using a One-way confidentiality agreement (if only one business is sharing information) or otherwise a standard mutual Non-disclosure agreement (NDA). A Letter of confidentiality is a more basic form of NDA or can be used as a prelude to a more comprehensive confidentiality agreement.
If someone breaches your IP rights, consider issuing a Cease and desist letter for IP infringement. This is essentially a notice sent to the individuals or businesses using your IP rights without your consent, requesting them to stop and refrain from using it in the future.
If you want to sell or transfer ownership of IP, you can do so using an Assignment of IP agreement.