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Other ways to protect your idea

In addition to patenting, there are other ways to protect your business idea.

Industrial design rights

Design applies to the shape and outward appearance of a product or part of a product. Protection also covers non-physical articles, such as screen images for web, typefaces and graphic symbols. To get a design registration, your design must be new.

What can be protected through design registration?

  • The shape and outward appearance of an article, for example the shape of a toothbrush, car, ship, telephone or piece of furniture.
  • Parts of an article, for example the head of a toothbrush, the leg of a chair, the keypad of a telephone.
  • The appearance of non-physical articles such as a screen images, typefaces and graphic symbols. You cannot register a computer programme.
  • Ornamentation, for instance the pattern on a set of chinaware or the motifs on textiles and wallpapers.
  • An interior design, for example the interior design of a café or shop.

Read more about industrial design rights at the Norwegian Industrial Property Office’s website.

Trademarks

A trademark is a recognisable symbol (sign, design or expression), which distinguishes your goods or services from those of others. A trademark can consist of words and combinations of words (for instance, slogans), names, logos, figures and images, letters, numbers, sounds, and moving images, or a combination of these, and must be reproducible in graphic form.

What can be protected through trademarks?

  • Figures
  • Word marks
  • Combinations of words and figures/designs
  • Slogans
  • Three-dimensional marks (goods, accessories)
  • Letters and numbers
  • Moving images
  • Sound marks

Read more about trademarks at the Norwegian Industrial Property Office’s website.

Copyright

Copyright is a legal right created by the law of a country that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights use and distribute it, usually for a limited time. The exclusive rights are not absolute; there are limitations and exceptions to copyright law, including fair use.

Copyright itself cannot be registered and must be asserted via the courts if necessary. If you require demonstrable proof of sole rights, it might be worth exploring whether a registered patent, design or trademark is a better option.

Read more about other ways of protecting your intellectual property.

Source: The Norwegian Industrial Property Office (Patentstyret).