Properly registered, protected and cleverly exploited, Intellectual Property can set a business apart from its competitors, generate revenue and safeguard a company’s future.
What we do and where we specialise
From registrable IP like patents, trademarks and designs to softer IP such as know-how and trade secrets which can be protected through contracts, it’s important to identify these assets, taking steps to both guard them and leverage their value to best effect.
Our expert commercial solicitors deal with all aspects of Intellectual Property, from the protection of a brand to the negotiation of licences and the swift and effective resolution of IP disputes. We can work with you to get your product launched as widely as possible and discover effective ways to generate long term revenue.
Our areas of expertise include:
Know-how and trade secrets
‘Know-how’ is anything you know which is valuable and confidential. It can range from highly technical trade secrets to general business knowledge like your market intelligence, your strategy and your processes. A lot of your organisation’s know-how may lie in the heads of your employees and is at risk of leaving along with them. Our team can advise on the best ways of embedding your know-how into your organisation and maintaining its confidentiality.
Registrable Intellectual Property
Where intellectual property is capable of registration, such as trade marks, designs and patents, it’s advisable to do so. A cost effective and easy process, registration provides much stronger protection, making it easier to sue or warn off infringers. As designs must be registered within a year of their first public use, and patents must be registered before the invention is disclosed publicly, you should consider registering your design or invention at an early stage.
Passing-off is a cause of action which protects traders against their competitors using their trade mark or trade get up unfairly. Registering your trade mark will achieve much stronger protection, but if you have not registered it, you may still have a cause of action in passing-off if you are finding a competitor is using your trade mark.
Copyright arises automatically when you create something original such as a literary or artistic work, a piece of source code or a database. It is infringed by copying and publishing the whole or a substantial part of the work, or dealing in infringing copies. A common problem with copyright is finding you don’t own it, as you commissioned the work but never specified that you would own the copyright in it.
Designers of products have rights in the shape or appearance of the product, which they can use to prevent copying or dealing in infringing copies. Designs can be protected even if they have not been registered. If you’re unsure whether this applies to your design, we can advise.