All about industrial design, integrated circuit topographies, and trade secrets

Along with starting your own business from scratch; buying into a franchise; creating a family-owned business; and buying an existing business, licensing your product idea is one pathway into entrepreneurship. Patents, copyrights, and trademarks are three of the better-known forms of intellectual property protection for a small business.

Today, we’re going to look at three other types: Industrial design, integrated circuit topographies, and trade secrets.

Industrial Design
Protecting your industrial design means protecting the unique ideas, features, configurations, shapes, patterns and ornaments of your product — basically, the way it looks.

Integrated Circuit Topographies
Three-dimensional circuit designs used in a wide variety of mechanical and electrical products. Registering your business’ unique integrated circuit topography grants you exclusive rights – find out more at the Canadian Intellectual Property Office.

Trade Secret
A piece of information used within the business that is kept strictly confidential. Trade secrets can include production methods, formulas and customer lists. Think of the formula for Coca-Cola or the recipe for McDonalds’ Big Mac special sauce.

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