The name and brand of your business is a valuable asset, therefore anyone setting up a business should consider the value of the Intellectual Property (IP) in that business and look at protecting it in the most appropriate way. In addition, consideration should be given to patent and design right registrations along with copyright issues – depending on the nature of your business.
Guernsey provides a suite of IP products and services under ‘The Intellectual Property (Enabling Provisions) (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law, 2004. Staff at the Guernsey Registry Intellectual Property Office (IPO) provide a registration service for the application and ongoing administration of these rights at competitive fee rates. The following products and services are administered, under the relevant Bailiwick of Guernsey Intellectual Property Law and associated Ordinances:
Registering your trademark gives you the exclusive right in Guernsey to use your mark (for the goods and services specified in the application) for 10 years, after which it may be renewed.
Patents allow the inventor of a product, process or material to benefit from their investment in its invention. In order to apply for the registration of a patent in the Bailiwick of Guernsey, the patent must be first registered in an approved overseas jurisdiction.
Design rights protect the way a product looks. Please note that if the design has a technical function or the appearance of the product comes naturally as a result of the function that it performs, then a design right may not be suitable.
Copyright refers to the protection of literary and artistic works such as novels, music recordings, film recordings and paintings. A copyright does not have to be registered but you are still able to enforce protection through the Copyright (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Ordinance, 2005. Staff are available to provide advice on Copyright and other non-registrable rights.
The introduction of Image Rights legislation in 2012 represented a world first for Guernsey. Image rights are the expression of a personality in the public domain. The provision of image rights in law enables the definition, value, commercial exploitation and protection of image rights associated with a person. Whereas traditionally the IP in a personality has been protected through trademark rights, Guernsey image rights legislation recognises both the personality (known as the personage) and characteristics associated with the personality such as aliases, signature, voice, mannerisms, gestures and other indicia.
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