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Get legal help with intellectual property issues

Innovations in technology have made protecting intellectual property (IP) even more complex, but you can still defend against those who infringe your IP rights.

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According to Intellectual Property Office research (pdf), the most common reasons for infringing IP online, with things such as music and film, was that it was perceived to be 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. But with the help of experienced solicitors, you can act if it happens to you.

Intellectual property definition

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:

  1. Copyright
    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.
  2. Trademarks
    This can be a word, name, design, slogan, symbol or other device that is unique to, and therefore identifies, your organisation or product.
  3. Design rights
    ‘Design rights’ automatically protect designs for 15 years after they are created, or 10 years after they're first sold – whichever is earliest. You can use design rights to stop someone copying your design.
  4. Patents
    This usually applies to inventions and industrial processes. The purpose of patents is to protect these things against unauthorised use or implementation.

What is infringement of intellectual property rights?

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.

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How can you help me 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 eg. 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 knowledgeable intellectual property solicitors to call on will be a definite advantage. 

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 intellectual property lawyers. 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.

Get in touch today to discuss your requirements 08005677866

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