Arts Council of Wales | Intellectual property and copyright

Intellectual property and copyright

Advice for Creative Professionals.

Download this page as a document: Intellectual Property and Copyright: Information Sheet


What is intellectual property?

Intellectual property (IP) can allow you to own things you create in a similar way to owning physical property.

You can control the use of your IP, and use it to gain reward. This encourages further innovation and creativity.


The four main types of IP are:

  • Copyright that protects material, such as literature, art, music, sound recordings, films and broadcasts
  • Designs that protect the visual appearance or eye appeal of products
  • Patents that protect the technical and functional aspects of products and processes
  • Trade marks that protect signs that can distinguish the goods and services of one trader from those of another

However, IP also covers trade secrets, plant varieties, geographical indications, performers’ rights and so on. Often, more than one type of IP may apply to the same creation.

UK Intellectual Property Office


Useful resources

Own it

Artquest ArtLaw

British Copyright Council

Design and Artists Copyright Society

Creative Commons

Registered Charity Number 1034245