Essential global resources for IP protection


Knowing what intellectual property (IP) your company owns, what its worth and how to protect it is crucial. Any good business strategy should include a regular review of IP, so weve pulled together some key resources to help you do that

IP protection


UN agency the World Intellectual Property Organization offers IP protection services across borders. Its website has a wealth of information, including how different types of IP protection, such as the international patent, trademark and design systems, work.

Medtech Engine says: Essential for companies that regularly operate across international borders.

Intellectualpropertyexplorer.com is a free, interactive, online tool developed by the governments of Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore, and designed to identify IP and protect your assets. A series of questions guides you through as you review each piece of IP in your business.

Medtech Engine says: Ideal for SMEs and, although developed in Australasia, it can be used by anyone who would like to learn more about IP protection, wherever they are.

International Chamber of Commerce IP Roadmap is a popular report from the International Chamber of Commerce and is available in English, Spanish and Portuguese. It is published every two to three years, and details current and emerging IP policy issues.

Medtech Engine says: Good for those who want to keep up to date with policy developments and issues. Popular with business leaders, policy-makers and legal professionals, and those who want to sink their teeth into a report.


Innovaccess is a network of European national intellectual property offices. Along with general IP information, the website provides links to each European national intellectual property office and procedures for each country.

Medtech Engine says: A great starting point for finding country-specific IP information across 30 European nations.

The European Patent Office has information on searching and applying for patents, including how to apply for a European patent (essentially a bundle of national patents).

Medtech Engine says: Useful for companies operating across Europe. Note that this bundle of patents does not confer any rights in itself, and patents still need to be validated individually in each country you want them to be in force.

The European IPR helpdesk offers free services in IP and IP rights to European SMEs working with transnational partnership agreements, and beneficiaries of EU-funded projects. Services include a helpline, training, publications and events.

Medtech Engine says: Best for first-line advice and assistance when you have a specific IP issue.

Whose data is it anyway?

With the vast amount of information generated by new medical technologies, IP legal specialist Elizabeth Ward looks at the often complex issue of who owns the information and how to be proactive about protecting your ideas


United Kingdom

The UK’s Intellectual Property Office offers the following online resources:

IP Equip – an e-learning tool to help businesses understand the various elements of intellectual property rights. Available via the website or as an iOS or Android app.

Lambert Toolkit – a tool to aid companies and universities carrying out collaborative research projects. It helps to describe who owns the intellectual property and comes up with an agreement.

IP Health Check – a free online tool to help you identify your intellectual property assets, how to make the most of them and how to protect them.

IP Master Class – a CPD certified course for business professionals, available either in a classroom or online format.


The National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) offers plenty of online information, including:


The German Patent and Trade Mark Office (DPMA) has several online services including:

  • The DPMAregister, where you can search for patents and utility models, trademarks, indications of geographical origin and designs. The register is available in both searchable and PDF versions
  • DMPAkurier, an alert service offering automated monitoring of IP rights
  • DEPATISnet, an electronic patent document archive, with a user interface in both English and German
  • Patentblatt CD, a searchable monthly publication for patent monitoring.


The Spanish Trademark and Patent Office (OEPM) offers:

  • free online databases, including brand search, designs, trademarks, patent search and file status
  • a number of Technology Watch bulletins, including one focusing on medical technology
  • paid services, including retrospective searches and technological patent reports

The Spanish Office of Intellectual Property also provides access to the Intellectual Property Register.

Have you discovered any other invaluable IP resources? If so, please share your comments below.

About the author

With well over 100 years experience between us, we've been around the editorial and medical blocks a few times. But we're still as keen as any young pup to root out what's new and inspiring.

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