Applying for sole rights
You can apply for several types of exclusive rights for the same idea or the same product, as illustrated in the example above. A bicycle helmet may contain technical elements that can be protected with patents, the design and outward appearance may be protected by design registration, and the name and logo associated with the helmet may be registered as a trademark.
You should also consider whether you need to protect a domain or company name, so that you ensure full freedom to use that particular name and prevent others from using it. Check namesearch.no - a website that makes it easy for you to check if both domain name, company name and trademark are available - all three in one search.
Business concepts and ideas
A business idea, concept or method may in principle not be registered as either a patent, trademark or design, but marketing law may give some protection against the copying of such concepts and where others try to take advantage of your efforts.
You may also choose to protect your invention or process by keeping them secret. If you choose this strategy it is important to have good agreements with any partners who need to have insight into the business, so you avoid unwanted copying or trade secrets going astray.
The term copyright refers to the intellectual ownership of a literary and artistic work, for example a piece of music, a book, a painting, hand made artefacts, or a film. You obtain copyright to an intellectual work the moment you create it.
Applying in other countries
If you wish to apply for sole rights to your idea in other countries, it is important to consider this at an early point, particularly for inventions. The application process can be complex and it will often pay to get the help of a professional advisor.
You can contact us at the Norwegian Industrial Property Office (NIPO) if you have questions concerning what type of protection is right for you or your company. Ring our Customer Service Centre at +47 22 38 73 00 and talk to an adviser or a case officer. You are also welcome to visit us at our premises in Oslo.
A professional patent agency or patent attorney can help you prepare and formulate your patent application and follow up important deadlines and payments, such as annual fees. Patent agencies are experts on all types of intellectual property rights, including trademarks, designs and IPR strategies.
Check list of professional advisers on IPRhjelp.no (in Norwegian)
Courses and seminars
We hold a wide variety of courses and seminars throughout the year. The majority of our courses are held in Norwegian, although we do offer some specialist courses in English.
More information about our courses and seminars
Other organisations and institutions
Other public institutions and organisations that can help you with your business strategy or offer you financial aid, are Innovation Norway, Research Council of Norway, Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture, SIVA's network of clusters, incubators etc.
See "Start and run a business" at the Altinn portal