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Common types of intellectual property 

On Behalf of | Mar 19, 2024 | Business Law

Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business. For a business to succeed, it needs to stand out from the competition for the right reasons. Branding needs to be memorable and unique — and it is something you should start working on even as you establish your business.

Different aspects of a unique brand are often referred to as intellectual property. Here are some of the most common examples. 


A trademark is a unique symbol or phrase that is associated with a particular company. For example, Nike has the trademark “just do it”. This is unique to Nike and nobody else can legally use it as part of their branding or marketing campaigns.


Copyrights are a form of intellectual property that are often utilized by artists, musicians and other types of creators. For example, a song may be copyrighted so that another company cannot use it unless they have been granted permission by the original artist. 

Trade secrets 

Trade secrets are less tangible than some other forms of intellectual property, but it is still possible to protect trade secrets legally. Common examples of trade secrets include unique recipes, formulas and research and production methods. Companies often opt to protect trade secrets by having employees sign non-disclosure agreements. This means that the unique methods cannot be passed on to anyone outside of the company. 


Patents are often associated with unique inventions. An inventor can apply to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to have their creation patented. This means that nobody else can legally replicate the invention. 

Intellectual property is an important matter for every business and it should be protected. Seeking legal guidance will give you further insight as you establish and grow your brand.