Intellectual property or IP represents creations of the mind or intellect that can be legally owned. IP laws allow for protection through patents, trademarks, copyright, designs, circuit layouts, and plant breeder’s rights. Almost every business has some form of IP that they need to protect. In most cases, you must formally register your IP. However, automatic protection is given to copyrights, circuit layout rights, confidential information, and trade secrets. To protect your IP from your staff, include confidentiality clauses in their contracts.