What are intellectual property rights?

Intangible assets are the result of creative thinking. They can be things like a new method, an artwork, a logo, a musical composition, or a technical solution to a problem. The right to control and own the value of the work is called an intellectual property right.

Man testing VR-goggles

Five common forms of intellectual property rights

Trademark - name and logo

A trademark is used to distinguish your goods or services from those of your competitors. Your trademark may consist of words, logos, sounds, colors, or a combination of these.

Trademarks in a nut shell

  • protects names, logos, and slogans
  • registration costs from NOK 3 800
  • takes about 3 weeks to register
  • renewed every ten years
  • applies in the country where the trademark is registered

Trademark vs. brand

A trademark is a legally protected name or logo that identifies a product or service.

A brand is associated with what the consumer thinks of when they see or hear the trademark.


Patent - inventions

Patents give you an exclusive right to use, sell, or prevent others from making something you have invented for up to 20 years. Your rights exist only in the country where your patent is granted.

Patents in a nut shell:

  • an exclusive right to a new invention
  • costs from NOK 1 100 to apply
  • becomes available to everyone after 18 months
  • can last up to 20 years if renewed annually

Design - form and appearance

A design right provides protection for the visual design of the product and may include shape, pattern, or ornament.

Design in a nut shell

  • protects the visual design of your product
  • registration costs from NOK 2 470
  • lasts for five years from the application date
  • registration can be renewed for up to 25 years
  • applies in the country where the design is registered


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Copyright is automatically granted to the creator of an original work such as artwork, books, websites, computer programs, drawings, plays, films, music, and sound recordings.

The symbol for copyright is ©. It is not mandatory to use it to claim copyright. 

Trade secrets

Trade secrets can be used as a tool to protect intellecutla property rights and can be an alternative or supplement to other registrable rights. 

Other forms of protection

When starting your own business, it is essential to establish an identity that shows who you are. A registrered company name also prevents others from registering a company with the same name. 

Domain name

Domain name If you have chosen a company name, you may want a website to promote your business. It is wise to check if the domain name is available before registering the company name.


Leverage your intellectual property rights by granting others permission to use software, a trademark, a patent, or other intellectual property rights.

Responsibility mark

A gold, silver, or platinum article stamped with a fineness mark must also be stamped with a responsibility mark.

Plant breeder's right

Plant breeder's right is an exclusive right to exploit a plant variety commercially.