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Intellectual Property

The department is responsible for Intellectual Property  ('IP') policy and legislation and these pages set out information on the IP regime in place in the Isle of Man for both businesses that use IP and IP advisers.

IP rights exist to encourage the creation of intellectual property by allowing the creator to control its exploitation to some extent and to benefit financially from such exploitation. IP underpins such diverse areas as e-gaming, the space industry, clean technology and high-specification manufacturing and is therefore of huge economic benefit to the Island.

There are several distinct categories of IP. The main ones are:


Copyright applies to a wide variety of written, audio and video works, and enables the copyright owner to control the copying, publication, rental, public performance and adaptation of a work. It arises as soon as a work is created, and does not depend on registration.

Design right

Industrial or functional designs are protected by 'design right' without registration for 15 years from creation (or 10 years after first marketing)

Ornamental designs or patterns may be protected for up to 25 years by registration in the UK Intellectual Property Office.

Where the design of a product is protected in the European Union (with or without registration) as a 'community design', it may also be protected in the Isle of Man.


Patents enable an inventor to protect his invention for up to 20 years by means of registration in the UK Intellectual Property Office.

Trade marks

A trade mark is a name, device or slogan that distinguishes a business or a brand. It may be protected for 10 years (renewable indefinitely) by registration in the UK Intellectual Property Office.

Where a trade mark is protected by registration in the European Union as a 'community trade mark', it may also be protected in the Isle of Man.

More information on each of these areas is available by clicking on the relevant category at the left hand side of the page.


The legislative framework consists of acts passed by Tynwald (the parliament of the Isle of Man), orders and regulations made Act of Tynwald, and Acts of the UK Parliament which have been extended to the Island. Further, although the Isle of Man is not part of the European Union with respect to intellectual property, the Island has chosen to adopt many of the EU’s IP measures. For more information go to the ‘Legislation’ page via the menu on the left.


Intellectual property law is underpinned globally by a number of international treaties and agreements, many of which apply, through the UK, to the Isle of Man. You can find out more about these treaties and agreements by clicking on the ‘Treaties’ page via the menu on the left.

If you require further information on intellectual property in the Isle of Man please contact Steven Tallach on +44 1624 685375 or at 

Contact details for the UK Intellectual Property Office can be found on its website here.

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