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Intellectual Property Rights

Intellectual property rights enable individuals or companies to protect commercially valuable creativity and innovation in the same way as tangible property.

The Isle of Man has developed laws to protect intellectual property ensuring that such intangible assets are recognised and suitably managed to benefit the owner.  The Isle of Man is a member of the Berne Convention and the World Trade Organization's Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property.

The principal types of intellectual property are:


Issued by a government and provides protection for new products and processes provided that it is novel, involve an inventive step and have industrial application. The Isle of Man does not have its own patents register and so the UK Patents Act 1977 applies with patent registration conducted through the UK patent registry.  The Patent Cooperation Treaty extends to the Isle of Man and enables patents to be filed which cover over one hundered nations.  The European Patent Convention applies to the Isle of Man and through the European Patent Office is able to seek protection of patents in up to  40 European countries.

Trade mark

Protects the branding which distinguishes goods and services of one business from another business.  The Isle of Man does not have its own trade mark register and so UK legislation covers the Isle of Man with the UK Trade Marks Act 1994.  This legislation enables registration to be conducted with the UK trade mark register.  EU Community Trade Marks registered under EU regulations are also recognised and protected in the Isle of Man.  The Madrid Protocol also applies to the Isle of Man through the UK's ratification, providing protection of a trade mark in eighty one countries through the World Intellectual Property Organization.


Protects original material when it is recorded in a physical medium, for example books, films, photographs, and music. In the Isle of Man, copyright is protected by the Copyright Act 1991 (Act of Tynwald) which provides that a copyright is protected for the life of the author plus 50 years.

Designs Rights

Protects the look of an industrial object, which could include textiles or furniture. In the Isle of Man, design rights are protected by the Design Right Act 1991 (Act of Tynwald) which provides that a design is protected for 15 years or 10 years from the first sale or hire.

Image Rights

Provides an individual with the right to control commercial use of their image and likeness and may for example benefit celebrities and sports personalities.

Database Rights

The right of a database designer to control for 15 years the extraction and use of information in the database. In the Isle of Man, database rights are protected by the Copyright (Amendment) Act 1999 (Act of Tynwald).

Performer Rights

Protects the rights of a performer to control the recording and exploitation of their performances. In the Isle of Man, performance rights are protected by the Performers Protection Act 1996 (Act of Tynwald).

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For more information please feel free to contact Lee or call 00 44 (0)1624 612888.