Formal IP is the most recognizable form of intellectual property, and is generally divided into two categories:
- Industrial Property – which includes patents, trademarks, designs and geographic indications of source
- Copyright – which covers literary and artistic works such as novels, poems, plays, films and drawings, among others
Industrial property is comprised of IP requiring formal registration, whereas copyright is an automatic right, or one which arises once an original work is created and fixed.
Formally protected IP gives you exclusive rights to utilize and/or commercialize your innovation or brand, creating barriers to entry for potential competitors in the marketplace. It is essentially a legal monopoly, and one which can be enforced and defended in a court of law.