Although the rise of technology means protecting intellectual property (IP) is more complex than ever, you can still defend against those who infringe on your IP rights.
First4Lawyers can assign solicitors with specialist knowledge of intellectual property rights to you whether you believe someone has infringed on a patent, copyright or even a music composition. Contact us for more information.
According to Intellectual Property Office research (pdf), the most common reasons for infringing online, with things such as music and film, was that it was free, convenient and quick.
The spread of high-speed internet combined with the global nature of media and modern business makes it easy for infringements on intellectual property to occur. And, with the help of an experienced solicitor, you can act when it does.
What is intellectual property?
Intellectual property is creative work which the law considers to be an asset; much the same as physical property. Intellectual property rights fall into four main areas:
This applies to work that is recorded in some way. As a result, artistic, literary, musical and dramatic work, as well as typographical arrangements, films and sound recordings are all subject to copyright law.
This can be a word, name, design, slogan, symbol or other device that is unique to, and therefore identifies, your organisation or product.
- Design rights:
‘Design rights’ automatically protect designs for 15 years after you created it, or 10 years after you first sold it – whichever is earliest. You can use design rights to stop someone copying your design.
This usually applies to inventions and industrial processes. The purpose of patents is to protect these things against unauthorised use or implementation.
What may be considered intellectual property infringement?
Examples of intellectual property infringement may include:
- Someone using, selling or importing your patented product or process.
- Use of some or all of your work under copyright without your permission.
- Making, offering, or selling your registered design for profit.
- Using a trade mark that’s similar or identical to one you’ve registered.
How can I use the law to defend my intellectual property rights?
To defend your intellectual property against infringement, you can take the following steps.
- Order the offending party to stop using it.
- Come to agreement with the offending party e.g. license use of the work to them.
- Use mediation or another type of dispute resolution.
- Take legal action if you can’t resolve the dispute by other means.
At all stages of the process, having a knowledgeable solicitor to call on can be a strong advantage. First4lawyers can provide access to professional advice.
How do I protect my intellectual property?
In the event that a person or organisation infringes upon your work, you may require evidence to support your claim. Often, you can deter infringement by making it clear that your work is subject to copyright law and is therefore protected from unauthorised use.
- Ensure your work carries the proper marks – A correctly worded notice stating that your work is protected under law. While the law does not require the presence of such a notice, displaying one will show that you aware of copyright law and take infringements seriously.
- Register your work – If your work is infringed and the respondent disputes your claim, registration constitutes verifiable proof of the date and content of your work and is therefore a great way to protect your work from unauthorised use.
I would like legal help and advice to protect my intellectual property – what should I do?
We recommend that you use an intellectual property litigation expert. Legislation is very complex and dealing with such issues without proper guidance could be time-consuming and ineffective.
Whether you want to put an effective strategy in place to prevent future infringement, draw up an effective Cease and Desist Order, or bring litigation to provide resolution, First4Lawyers can help. We’re happy to have a no-obligation talk about your situation.