Intellectual property guide for engineers

This guide provides an understanding of IP rights in the context of engineering activities and shows how IP can be used to future-proof a business.

Intellectual property rights provide a business with competitive advantage in technology- and knowledge-focused markets, where companies battle to maintain an edge over their competition. IP rights can be bought, sold, licensed and used as security for borrowing.
They can account for a significant portion of a business’s assets and may outperform tangible assets in terms of wealth and value creation.

Some IP rights come into existence automatically as the work is done. Most must be applied for and registered, often within specific time limits. Some must be kept secret before the application is made.

This guide introduces the different IP rights available in the UK and how they can be used to protect different types of technological and creative work product. It then explains some of the considerations surrounding the exploitation of IP rights and provides, in the case study “From creation to Commercialisation”, an illustration of how IP rights may be identified and exploited in practice.  

Case study

The case study follows a utility supplier, “Volts 4U”, which turns around its fortunes by combining R&D with close attention to the IP rights required to secure, protect and exploit the resulting innovations.

At the centre of the guide is a pull-out table that you can remove and use as a quick reference guide during your work.


All reports and policies

Browse all our reports, policy statements, consultation responses and presidential addresses

View all

Have a question?

Contact our press team.