Intellectual Property and the protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) are issues that affect practically all businesses. Not only can it be an important revenue stream, but it also sits at the very heart of the identity of a business, and protecting your Intellectual Property Rights has become a critical part of any business plan.
There are two main elements to intellectual property:
1. Rights in IP that you as a business have created and sell as products or licence out;
2. Rights in the name and identity of your business.
In the same way that manufactured goods or products are secured and protected from theft or damage, the same should apply to the Intellectual Property relating to these products, including the design, composition or method of manufacture. Similarly, ‘soft’ products such as software, data or publications are capable of protection or exploitation in order to raise additional revenue for your business.
As businesses grow, the protection of your ‘brand’ or ‘identity’ becomes more and more of an issue. Unscrupulous individuals or businesses may look to trade or ‘pass-off’ the name or ‘goodwill’ of your business, stealing customers and business that would otherwise go to you. This could be achieved by using brands or logos that are sufficiently similar to yours to cause confusion amongst customers or suppliers. Our advice is to register brands and logos as trademarks before this happens so that you have sufficient protection, which will also save time and money, and increase the chances of a successful outcome in the event that your business is affected.
Intellectual Property is a highly specialised area, and we can help advise you on the best way to protect or assert your rights, including:
- Database Rights
- Passing-off actions
- Registered Design Rights
- Unregistered Design Rights
- Licensing and selling your IPRs.
We have expertise in all areas of Intellectual Property law, and specifically in technology / IT contracts and protection, the protection of trade secrets and confidential information, and are also registered experts with the Design Business Association and members of the International Association of IT Lawyers.
Please contact our Corporate and Commercial lawyers for an initial consultation to discuss your current IP situation and how you can improve this to protect your business and find valuable new sources of revenue.