Intellectual Property (IP) covers a wide range of subjects and you may find that you can protect your idea by another right.
Companies House deal with the registration and provision of company information.
The Tribunal adjudicates in disputes about opportunistic company name registrations.
For encrypted broadcasts and transmissions, you may need authority to produce decoding apparatus and equipment.
Copyright owners may choose to use technical measures to protect their material.
CDAs (also known as non-disclosure agreements) can be used to protect know-how or trade secrets
In addition to or instead of copyright protection, a database may be protected by the 'database right'. This is intended to protect and reward investment in the creation and arrangement of databases
United Kingdom (UK) Design Right and Community Design Right may give automatic protection for the look of your product.
If you have created a new variety of plant or seed, you may be able to protect it at The Plant Variety Rights Office and Seeds Division in the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
Publication right gives you rights equivalent to copyright if you publish for the first time a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work or a film in which copyright has expired.
If you want to protect your IP abroad you will generally need to apply for protection in the countries which you want your IP to have effect. Except particularly in the case of Copyright and other limited circumstances, your UK IP rights do not give you automatic protection abroad .
There is no legal requirement for you to file a patent, you could decide to keep your invention secret but if it enters the public domain then you may lose your rights to it.