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Intellectual property

Last updated January 2024

This chapter examines your rights over inventions and designs created by your employees and contractors, and how to protect your business’ confidential information.

What is intellectual property?

Definition: Intellectual Property

Intellectual property (IP) refers to:
- creations of the mind or intellect, such as a design or invention; and
- literary or artistic works, such as a story, article, painting, photograph or logo.

IP rights will exist, whether or not the creations or artistic works are capable of registration.

The following table outlines types of IP rights that might arise from things created by your employees and contractors, and examples of the legal protection that may apply:

Matter giving rise to IP rights Legal protection
Designs. – Registration.
– Copyright.
Inventions. – Patent registration.
– Copyright (protects the original and material expression of an idea, but not the idea itself).
– Confidentiality duties.
Literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work. – Copyright.
– Confidentiality duties.
– Consumer protection laws.
Confidential information and
know how.
– Confidentiality duties.
Brands and logos. – Copyright.
– Trademarks.
– Consumer protection laws.