Intellectual Property – IP is usually considered to be a company's most valuable asset, especially those who engage in innovation, research and development.  Intellectual property is an intangible asset that often creates the foundation for the operation and success of companies. However, in many instances, those assets are a hidden treasure that needs to be recognized and nurtured in order to further the company's success.

Intellectual Property is often the cornerstone of many start-up businesses. Intellectual Property rights are therefore an important tool to help these businesses to grow and prosper. The Icelandic Intellectual Property Office handles matters regarding Intellectual Property rights in Iceland, and therefore plays an important role in assisting businesses in maintaining their operational viability.

Intellectual Property rights are business tools

Some Intellectual Properties are subject to registration (patents, trademarks, designs) while others can be protected with other appropriate measures. Intellectual Property rights must always be handled and managed in a responsible and organized way in order to manage and maximize their value.

It is important to keep in mind that even though Intellectual Property rights are divided into several fields they can all apply to one and the same thing. It is furthermore important to investigate what rights already exist before commencing the application process.

Intellectual Property rights are not just about protecting against infringement by the competition. It can also facilitate access to and attract potential investors.

How do you want to protect your innovation?


Do you have a specific name or a logo for your company or your products/services that you want to protect? Registration of these as trademarks and thus making intangible assets more tangible, will result in additional value to your company, its reputation and goodwill and allow you to prohibit any third-parties use of the same or similar marks.



Design rights protect a unique visual appearance. Find out what they are and what’s involved in the application and management process.


Having an invention that provides, in general, a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem.

Why are Intellectual Property Rights Important?

Knowledge and proper handling of intellectual property can be extremely important for businesses. Therefore, it is important to know:

  • What ways are available to protect your intellectual property
  • What intellectual property you have
  • What protection of different types of intellectual property rights provide
  • Whether it is necessary to register the intellectual property or whether the right is created automatically

Intellectual Property rights are not something that can be ignored or investigated at a later stage. This can cause problems later, such as added costs, or even worse, loss of property. It is therefore essential for businesses to define their competitive advantage and use Intellectual Property rights to protect this advantage.


Registered Intellectual Property in Iceland



What is protected?
What does the right entail?

Signs used to distinguish goods and services

Exclusive rights to use the mark

Can prohibit others from using for commercial purposes marks that are identical or similar to his trademark

Coca-Cola trademark, the wordmark "Eimskip"


The technical realization of an idea

Exclusive rights of using the invention for a certain period of time



The visible appearance of a product or part of a product that is determined by individual elements or its decoration

Exclusive rights to utilize the design

Can prohibit others from utilizing the design

Furniture, watch


Original work

Exclusive right to publish
Exclusive right to reproduce
Moral rights

Books, music, photographs, code

Trade Secrets

Valuable and secret business information

Protection against unfair exploitation by third parties of trade secrets

The Coca-Cola recipe