By Candace Westby
Trade Mark Examiner
Ms. Westby works for CIIPO, which provides information about IP protection in the Cayman islands. Get Creating Cayman is a regular column on your rights and responsibilities under Cayman’s IP laws. For more info, visit email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What Is IP?
According to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as literary and artistic works; names and images used in commerce; designs; and inventions.
An intellectual property right (IPR), like any other property right, allows the owner to use his creation for his benefit, and to stop others from using his creation without his permission.
IP is divided into two categories: industrial property, and copyright.
Industrial property includes patents, designs and trade marks. Copyright protects works such as novels, films, and rights related to copyright such as performances.
Although intangible, IP rights are just as valuable – if not more – for a business as are tangible assets. They can set your business apart from your competitors, and provide additional income.
They also can serve as collateral for loans, and they are essential to developing a marketing campaign. Have you stopped to take stock of the amount of IP your business owns or uses? For example, your company logo is a type of IP known as trade mark, which falls under the industrial property category. However, once you put your logo on your marketing posters and ad campaigns, you’re also protected under copyright.
If you sell your product in unique packaging created by your company, it may be protected as a design right; and any machines used in your manufacturing would be protected by patents. Both of these fall under the industrial property category of IP. We can take this a step further. Do you sell food products using a secret recipe that makes your product unique? If you do, you have a trade secret., which is another form of IP.
IP protection give large companies like Coca-Cola the right to stop others from passing off their products as Coca-Cola’s.
IP protection also allows you to visit a Popeye’s in the Cayman Islands and the US, and to expect the same products, services, and even look and feel of the restaurant. IP protection is far reaching!
Now that all of the Cayman Islands’ IP laws are in effect, creative people have modern legal protection! So take full advantage of our IP laws and get creating, Cayman!