Five mindblowing things you never realised about that Intellectual Property thing

Intellectual Property is simultaneously one of the most complicated, misunderstood, and yet important things any creative student needs to get their head around. You have probably heard that Durham University owns a shade of purple (#bleedpalatinate™) but did you know that you can legally own a sound? Or that the dissertation you have painstakingly crafted is technically on the same legal footing as the Mona Lisa?

Entrepreneurs Durham have been working alongside the Dean of University Enterprise, Brian Tanner, to raise awareness of Intellectual Property among students. With funding from the Intellectual Property Office we have distilled down the most important (and interesting) things you never knew about Intellectual Property into a 5 minute video.


As an entrepreneur I have always been a bit ashamed of my lack of knowledge about Intellectual Property. It’s one of those things that business-people ask about and I can only nod my head and say ‘yes, it is indeed important’ without really knowing what it really is or why people care. My attempts at educating myself in the past always seemed to be in vein: if you have ever googled ‘how to patent an idea’ you’re either confronted with 10,000 advertisements for lawyers or documents as long as my unread microeconomics textbook. Working with Brian, Entrepreneurs Durham decided we could make IP law slightly more palatable for students.

My main involvement in the crusade was as part of Entrepreneurs Durham’s KickStart Weekend, where we hosted an IP workshop and student focus group. It quickly became clear on the Saturday morning that we had our work cut out for us trying to cut down an hour’s worth of IP fact and trivia into a short, yet informative, video. It is therefore to Dependable Productions and the participants credit that the video has turned out so well. I doubt I could pass any tests on the subject but I certainly know my patents from my copyrights now!

 The best part of the society’s involvement with the project were the clear results we received from the KickStart Weekend Presentations. Businesses created at the weekend were partly judged on their appreciation of the Intellectual Property laws that might affect their ideas. We simply hadn’t realised how important it was for our members to protect their creations.

Now excuse me while I trademark my favourite colour.

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