Protecting your brand and innovation can be vitally important, which is why it is essential to be able to defend your intellectual property to ensure the long term success of your business. Without the proper legal measures in place, other businesses can simply take your ideas and leave you with few legal options.
Our intellectual property (IP) solicitors can help you put in place robust legal protections for your brand and commercial innovations, including with trade marks, copyright, patents and confidentiality agreements. We can also help you to find fast, cost-effective solutions where you believe another business in infringing on your intellectual property.
Our IP law team has extensive experience working across a range of industries, meaning we can help you to quickly identify what intellectual property you have that needs protecting and the most appropriate ways to do so. We offer a practical, business-focused approach, allowing you to have the confidence that your business is protected and that you will be able to meet your overall commercial goals.
Our intellectual property solicitors regularly help clients throughout the UK to protect their businesses, brands and innovation with:
- Trade marks
- Design rights
- Registered designs
- Licence agreements
- Confidentiality agreements
- Intellectual property dispute resolution
Our intellectual property law services
We offer a comprehensive legal service aimed at protecting intellectual property (IP) for a wide range of businesses across a variety of sectors.
Trade marks, copyright, design rights and patents
We act on behalf of clients in registering trade marks in the UK or across the European Community, advise on copyright or design right issues and have access to specialist patent agents/attorneys.
We advise on all kinds of licensing agreements relating to intellectual property. Our experience includes advising on licensing agreements relating to a well-known national brand of sauce being blended with handmade sausages and a recipe for pork products.
If you are dealing with another party in a commercial arrangement and wish to divulge your intellectual property so the other party can consider its commercial value, a confidentiality agreement is vital. This will set out the terms of any disclosure and protect your intellectual property rights related to the information disclosed.
Intellectual property disputes
Our Dispute Resolution team handles an impressive mix of commercial work related to intellectual property law and can fight to protect your IP rights or defend you against allegations that you have infringed the rights of others.
Clients often ask us...
What counts as intellectual property?
Intellectual property (IP) refers to something unique that you or one of your employees has created. This can cover a variety of things, but in general the principle applies to things like products and brand names, rather than ideas. So, for example, you cannot protect the idea for a new app, but you can protect the app’s name and the technology that powers it.
Who owns the intellectual property for an idea?
The owner of the intellectual property for an innovation will usually be one of the following:
- The person who created it (if self-employed or depending on their employment contract)
- The employer of the person who created it
- Someone who has bought the IP rights from the previous owner
Intellectual property can belong to more than one person, or to a business, rather than the business owner.
What can you do if someone steals your IP?
If you believe someone is infringing on your intellectual property, it is recommended to speak to one of our specialist intellectual property lawyers at the earliest opportunity. We can advise you on your options, including taking civil action where necessary to force the other party to cease using your IP and applying for compensation for the IP infringement where appropriate.
In many cases, simply having one of our solicitors contact the infringing party on your behalf is enough to encourage them to seek a solution and it is often possible to avoid the need for court action by using negotiation or methods such as mediation to seek an amicable resolution.
When do you have to apply to protect your intellectual property rights?
Depending on the type of work needing protection, you may already have automatic IP rights, or you may need to apply for this protection.
In general, you will automatically be protected by:
- Copyright - for writing and literary works, filmed content, music and other sound recordings, art and photography.
- Design right - for the shape of objects you design.
You will normally need to apply for IP protection with:
- Trade marks - for product names, logos and jingles.
- Registered designs - for the general appearance of a product, such as its packaging, colour and decoration.
- Patents - for inventions and machines, including pharmaceuticals, tools and software.
Contact our intellectual property solicitors
For an initial appointment to discuss your situation and legal options, please get in touch with your local Chattertons office or use our contact form to request a call back.