Intellectual property: glossary terms
Intellectual property: glossary terms

The following IP guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Intellectual property: glossary terms
  • Background technology
  • Copyright
  • Cybersquatting
  • Database right
  • Design right
  • Foreground technology
  • Goodwill
  • Moral rights
  • Neighbouring right
  • more

Background technology

The term 'background technology' is often used in relation to outsourcing or collaboration agreements, where the parties are working together on a project, but want to ensure that they keep ownership of, and control over, their own intellectual property, which is known as background technology. As a result, parties are often wary of divulging their background technology and know-how to the other parties in the collaboration as they may be competitors. Background technology may include formal IP which is licensed for the use of the venture, and also existing know-how which is being provided to the enterprise, ownership of which may remain with the originating party.

Lexis®PSL resources

Know-how—protection and licensing

Intellectual property in outsourcing—Practice Note

Contractual joint ventures—Practice Note

Drafting for particular types of contractual joint venture—Practice Note


Copyright is a form of intellectual property protecting artistic or creative works, such as books and other written material, drama, music, art, sound and video recordings, broadcasts and software. Different versions of a work may be protected by different copyrights, eg the book and stage versions of a play. Copyright protects the expression of information or an idea, not the information or idea itself.

Lexis®PSL resources

Copyright—authorship and ownership

Copyright—protectable works—Practice Note

Introduction to copyright and associated rights—Practice Note

Copyright infringement—Practice Note

Key cases and legislation

Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988

Copyright and Related Rights