Our intellectual property solicitors advise businesses and individuals on how to manage, protect and exploit the intellectual property they have developed within brands, inventions, designs, know-how and literary, artistic and musical works.
In many instances, the first step for our clients is working with us to identify the IP used and owned by their business as it can be complex and include many aspects of your business, your brand name, logo and even your reputation in the marketplace.
Some IP rights arise automatically but others (and in particular stronger, more easily enforceable forms of protection) need to be registered at the appropriate Intellectual Property Office. You can see more detail on the different types of intellectual property here.
Dealing with intellectual property infringements
“Infringement is a legal term for an act that means breaking a law”: Intellectual Property Office
Intellectual property rights will be infringed when a creation or work which is protected by law is used, copied or exploited without the consent of the creator, designer, inventor or owner. It is vital to take early advice from a specialist solicitor as soon as you become aware of a potential infringement or that you may be infringing someone else’s intellectual property rights.
If infringement occurs there are several remedies may be available from the Courts, or within settlement terms, including:
- an injunction to prevent future infringement;
- compensation for the infringing activity based either on the loss suffered by the owner or the profits made by the infringer;
- destruction or delivery up of the infringing materials or articles; and
- publication of the judgment in relevant trade press.
Subject to some exceptions, trademark infringement occurs when a third party, without the permission or consent of the registered trademark owner uses the mark in the course of trade or business.
Copyright infringement takes place when a third party uses any of the exclusive rights of the copyright owner without their consent. Copyright is a valuable commercial asset.
Patent infringement occurs where a person that does any of the acts listed in the Patents Act 1977 including making, using or selling the invention without permission or consent of the patent owner.
Design rights and registered design infringements
Design right and registered design infringement occurs where a person, without consent, does any of the acts that are the exclusive right of the design owner.
Criminal intellectual property infringements
The deliberate infringement of trade marks, copyright and designs can be a criminal offence as well as a civil law matter, enforceable in the UK by Trading Standards. These are more commonly known as “IP crime” or “counterfeiting” and “piracy”.
Dealing with intellectual property portfolios
Just like other forms of property, IP rights can be bought and sold, or licensed to third parties. Our solicitors can help with the drafting of assignment, licence or mortgage documentation as well as the management of your IP portfolios and registration of UK and EU trade marks.
In corporate mergers and acquisitions it is vital to ensure that the purchaser understands and is acquiring all of the IP rights which go with the target business.
Sector IP specialists
Our team of intellectual property specialists have particular recent experience in these sectors:
Media, entertainment & creative
- We have advised music producers and DVD distributors on various matters including trade mark and copyright infringements, clearance of photographic works, PRS & PPL licensing and related issues.
- We acted in numerous disputes relating to photographic copyright including claims brought by professional photographers and internationally renowned businesses in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (formerly the Patents County Court).
- We have also advised on copyright issues in an Edwardian polar explorer’s memoirs and other books as well as celebrity image rights
- We have acted for applicants and opponents in trade mark oppositions in the Intellectual Property Office and the High Court
- We have acted in proceedings in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court relating to an alleged trademark infringement involving Google AdWords.
- We have advised on various domain name disputes, including the published WIPO panelist decision in redspottedhankie.com.
- We have acted for a software games business in a dispute in the High Court over the ownership of intellectual property rights in a gaming application.
- We have advised various mobile application developers on issues including copyright, trademarks and branding, patentability and software licence terms.
- We have acted in High Court proceedings for an international software house in a claim involving confidential information, database right, copyright and trade mark infringement against a former employee and his new employer.
Our reported IP cases
If you'd like a no obligation discussion with our intellectual property solicitors please give us a call on 01926 886688
Recognised for its deft handling of a range of matters, including software licensing, trade mark prosecution and brand strategy. Particularly strong client followings in technology, music and retail.
"I have nothing but praise for them - the standard is excellent, they are speedy, responsive and provide clarity"