Let's talk a little thing called IP.

So you’re thinking of creating something unique? Art, photographs, research or a business? Intellectual Property is information you should be aware of before you get stuck in, so you do not get caught out later. Intellectual Property is one of the most important things that student entrepreneurs should be thinking about. And in most cases before they have even begun creation of their product.

The IP Office offers free online training and information to university students, giving concise and easy to follow information. There is no time limit and it saves automatically, so the user can leave it and come back to it as they wish. Once the training is complete, the student has the option of downloading a certificate for their records, signed by an authority from the IPO.

In no particular order, the training explains the fundamental basics of trademark, copyright and patenting as well as creative common licensing and other versions of IP. It also provides information on when legal action is necessary.

While the training offered is not actually bespoke according to the faculties listed and is much more likely an analytic tool, it has definitely been created in the right way. It is general enough that students understand the difference between each element.

The mini course is formatted in a series of small paragraphs of information, pictures and two-four minute YouTube videos of examples in patenting, trademarking for brands and resolving an IP dispute. Each section finishes with interactive questions, reworded to make the user think.

This is not a simple course, the system will not go forward until about a minute after the page has loaded and when a user is presented with a questions page, they cannot progress without having answered them first.

This course is highly recommendable to students starting out in research, business and freelancing as not only does it provide them with enough information for them to look out for through the text but also the case scenarios in the questions. Plus, the certificate will also be an extra bonus for their e-Portfolio.

Even for students who are not thinking of any long term projects could find use in this course. For example, students who sell their photos or writing to external sources or write for the Students’ Union papers, would most definitely benefit from spending forty-five minutes learning about IP to save them any trouble later.

Personally as a Humanities graduate, I would have been interested in taking this course back in my first year. As the course mentions being aware of university IP regulations, which includes potential rights on my dissertation, I would have preferred to have been made aware of such a thing in my first year.

Overall this is highly recommendable to any student as there are many instances that warrant awareness of IP but may not seem obvious or will not have been aware of previously. Especially in faculties where IP information is not so widely available from lecturers such as in science, engineering and law, other faculties would definitely benefit from having it available as an option.

The IP Office has created this training which will provide you with all the basic information you need – and a certificate at the end for your online portfolio. It’s free of charge and takes less than an hour to complete. Give it a go now!