• An exclusive right granted for an invention (product or process).
  • Provides a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem.
  • The invention must be of practical use, novel & shows an inventive step which could not deduced by a person with average knowledge of the technical field.
  • The subject matter must be accepted as “patentable” under law
  • Maximum duration : 20 years


  • Covers  literary, musical, dramatic choreography, pantomime, pictorial, graphic, sculptural works, screenplays, sound recordings, architectural designs and software in its literal (coded) form. Protects  only  physical representation of a work and not the idea, concept, procedures or underlying processes.
  • Has monopoly on reproduction, use, license, performance, distribution, public  performance, display broadcast, derivative works and digital transmission of the technology.
  • Maximum duration : 50 years after death of author.


  • Relates to the aesthetic or outward appearance of a product to make more attractive and appealing in order to influence the decision of consumers to prefer one product over another.
  • Helps companies to differentiate their products from those of competitors and enhance the brand image of their products.
  • Maximum duration : 15 years.


  • Protects brand names, images, logos, slogans, product design and product packaging.
  • Do not need to be registered with government, but can be ®.
  • Lasts forever, unless there is successful claim against the authors’ or the author stops using and enforcing it.
  • Maximum duration : 10 years, renewable for a period of every 10 years thereafter.


  • Protects new plant varieties through GM or breeding.
  • Once registered, the duration of protection for a registered plant variety which is new, distinct, uniform and stable is 20 years from the filing date of the application for registration, whereas for a registered plant variety that is new, distinct and identifiable, the term of protection is 15 years.
  • As for trees and vines, the duration of protection is 25 years from the filing date of the application for registration.


  • Refers to knowledge which only you possess and which you have only revealed under a non-disclosure/confidentiality agreement.
  • Not slowed by formal IP processes, but this sacrifices legally enforceable monopoly.
  • Maximum duration : unlimited.


  • Protects IC chip designs.
  • Maximum duration : 10 years from the date it is first commercially exploited. The  protection granted lapses 15 years after the date it is created.


  • Protects quality, reputation or other characteristic attributable to geographical origin.
  • Maximum duration : 10 years from the date of filing and is renewable for every ten years as long as it is still in use.