Page 5: Intellectual Property Rights
Many of 3M's ideas are patented (each year the company applies for more than 500 patents). Once 3M has been granted a patent in a particular country, it has the legal right to prevent other firms from profiting from its ingenuity for a specified period of time. This ensures that 3M can put resources into commercialising the idea without fear of another company copying it.
Patented ideas are sometimes referred to as 'intellectual property'.
3M's intellectual property also includes its trademarks (ie brand names) such as Scotch®, Scotch-BriteTM and Post-it® as well as its corporate brand identity which is a combination of the red 3M logo, as seen on this page, and the style the company uses for its literature and the way it presents its products.