Intellectual Property Resources


IP Online Support Tools


BIPC Glasgow can help you with your intellectual property queries. The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) also have a range of free online support tools you can access from home.


© Intellectual Property Office

IP Equip contains 4 modules to help develop a greater understanding of the four most commonly discussed areas of IP –Copyright, Trademarks, Patents and Design. Registration is required, but free.

IP Healthcheck free to use online tool that will help a business identify its IP assets. By answering a series of simple questions a tailored confidential report is created for you.

IP for Investment helps to prepare a business when seeking equity finance to grow. It helps identify and assess its IP assets in the context of the overall business strategy.

B2B Toolkit provides advice and guidance to businesses wishing to collaborate with other businesses. By completing an online checklist you will be provided with a personalised to-do list which outlines key actions and things you should consider when entering into a collaboration.

Sources for researching existing IP

Search for existing IP is an important part of any application. Whether it is to find out if your idea is new or novel, research your competitors or help you find the classifications you might need for your application, there are many free online databases.

Trade Marks

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) have a trade mark database containing UK national trade marks, and EU and international trade marks designating the UK. Search by trade mark number, owner, keyword, class, image or phrase

The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) TM View database covers national, EU and international trade marks. Includes a drag and drop image search, and advanced search options.


The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Global Brand database covers national and international trade marks. Includes a drag and drop image search, and advanced search options

A trade mark must contain the area goods and/or services in which it is protected. This is done using the Nice classification system. The EUIPO TM Class database will help you search for these classes.


If a trade mark contains an image then this must be defined using the Vienna classification system. The WIPO IP Portal will help you search for the classes for figurative elements of marks.

Registered Designs

The IPO have a registered design database containing UK national designs. Search by design number or owner only.

The EUIPO Design View database covers national, EU and international designs. Search by keyword, territory, class/sub-class and date. 


Registered designs must contain an indication of the product. This is done using the Locarno classification system. The EUIPO Design Class database will help you search for these class and sub-classes which indicate a design.


The European Patent Office (EPO) Espacenet database contains worldwide patent publications, including the UK. It is a useful tool for identifying any prior arts, track emerging technology and research your competitors. The Pocket Guide will help you navigate advanced search options.  



The WIPO Patentscope database contains national, regional and international patent publications. Search by keywords, applicants, classification and in multiple languages. There are also video tutorials to help build your search. 

Patents are classified by two main systems, WIPO’s International Patent Classification (IPC) and EPO’s Cooperative Patent Classification (CPC). Both have databases which contain codes that define the area of technology to which patents belong. These codes can be used to filter a patent search.



Although copyright is unregistered, the IPO have some tools that can help find the owner in certain circumstances. The Orphan Works Register contains creative works whose rights holder is either unknown or cannot be found. Search the register for information about applications and licences.  



Licencing Bodies and Collective Management Organisations will create copyright licences and collect royalties on behalf of the owner. The IPO have a list of organisations representing different creative arts.


When seeking advice with IP there are organisations to help you find legally qualified and regulated advisors. The following websites contain UK directories:

The Chartered Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys (CITMA)

The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA)

BIPC Glasgow also offer a monthly IP Clinic with CITMA and CIPA registered attorneys at Creation IP, giving you the opportunity to discuss your ideas, products, designs and brands for free.

IP Guides

IP Basics

IP Basics. A straightforward guide that explains: the different types of IP where they fit in your business how to protect them the ways you can use IP through licensing and franchising

A Brief Introduction to Patents and Patent Searching

A Brief Introduction to Patents and Patent Searching
What is a Patent?
A patent protects new inventions and covers how things work, what they do, how they do it, what they are made of and how they are made. A patent gives the owner the right to prevent others from making, using, importing or selling the invention without permission.

A Brief Introduction to Copyright

A Brief Introduction to Copyright
What is copyright?
Copyright is protection for literary or artistic authorship. Copyright does not protect ideas for works. It is only when the work has been captured (fixed) in hard copy that it is protected. For example an idea for a book cannot be protected, but once you have written the manuscript then copyright applies.

An Introduction to Trade Mark Searching

A Brief Introduction to Trade Mark Searching 
What is a Trade mark?
Trade marks, broadly speaking, indicate the origin of goods or services. Traditionally this was done by using words, logos, pictures or a combination of these elements, now trade marks can also be sounds and/or gestures. Shapes of products can also be registered.

A Brief Introduction to Registered Designs and Registered Design Searching

A Brief Introduction to Registered Designs and Registered Design Searching
What is a registered design? The Intellectual Property Office UK gives the following definition:
A registered design is a monopoly right for the appearance of the whole or part of a product resulting from the features of, in particular, the lines contours, shape, texture, materials of the product or its ornamentation

COBRA logo

A number of COBRA (Complete Business Reference Adviser) factsheets cover Intellectual Property. Available from work or home with your Glasgow Library card.