Intellectual Property Solicitors
Intellectual property is often one of the main assets a business owns. It is crucial to identify and protect the extent of your intellectual property as well as to use it to its full advantage.
Your brand, designs, logo, inventions and written materials make up the essence of your organisation. It is important to ensure that you are aware of the extent of your intellectual property and that you have taken steps to prevent it from being misused by third parties.
At IBB Law, we can help you develop, safeguard and monetise your intellectual property to benefit your business. We will help you audit your intellectual assets and advise you on the ways in which they can be protected.
Where a breach of your intellectual property rights has occurred, we can advise and represent you in enforcement proceedings.
We act for a wide range of businesses across many sectors, including established businesses, new businesses, entrepreneurs, start-ups and individuals.
Complete support for UK intellectual property law
At IBB Law, our intellectual property solicitors provide a full range of services to protect intellectual property, including:
- Brand protection advice
- Trade mark law advice
- Copyright law advice
- Intellectual property enforcement
- Branding and brand selection
- Trade mark portfolio management
- Trade mark searches
- Trade mark applications
- Trade mark enforcement and infringement including opposition, invalidation and
- Revocation actions
- Online enforcement
- Commercial agreements including acquisition, assignment and licensing
- Technology licensing and contracts
- Non-Disclosure Agreements
- Confidentiality agreements including know-how and trade secrets
- Trade mark licences
- Trade mark co-existence agreements
- Copyright ownership and copyright protection
For more information about how we can help you exploit and protect your intellectual property assets, see our intellectual property contracts page.
Our intellectual property team work closely with our nationally recognised franchising team to ensure that branding and other crucial intellectual property is robustly protected during the franchising process.
Why choose IBB Law for help with intellectual property rights?
The Corporate and Commercial team at IBB Law offer:
- In-depth legal expertise in the complex area of intellectual property rights and brand protection
- Independently accredited expertise with members of our Corporate and Commercial team being ranked by leading client guides the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners
- A high level of personal service provided by our expert intellectual property solicitors
Call today to discuss your case with our intellectual property rights solicitors
Our expert intellectual property solicitors are available in Uxbridge, Beaconsfield, Reading and Ascot. You can call one of our legal offices directly or fill in the enquiry form on our contact page and one of our legal team will call you.
How our solicitors can support you with intellectual property protection
Brand protection advice
We can work with you to audit your intellectual property and establish how best to protect your assets. Our services include advice on dealing with infringement, registering your brand, entering into contracts for distribution and franchising, and monetising your brand.
We also advise on developing strategies for the protection of new concepts and branding as well as on the acquisition and disposal of brands.
Trade mark law advice
We can represent you in applying for a trade mark as well as in dealing with protection and issues such as licensing.
Our trade mark law services include carrying out trade mark clearance, investigations and brand availability, as well as dealing with trade mark applications from start to finish. We also handle trade mark renewals and trade mark portfolio management.
Copyright law advice
Where you have created works subject to copyright, our team can ensure that these are not misused and, where necessary, act promptly to prevent infringement.
Our copyright law services also include dealing with licensing and assignment of copyrighted work, putting a robust agreement in place setting out exactly what rights are included.
Enforcing your intellectual property rights
If you believe that your intellectual property rights have been infringed, you should speak to an expert intellectual property solicitor straightaway. If you ask us to represent you, we will advise you on the best course of action, to include giving you an honest assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of your case.
Our team can advise on enforcement in respect of a range of infringements, including passing off and trade mark infringement. We also deal with challenging other brands by opposing trade marks and applying to invalidate trade marks. Where necessary, we can represent you in securing the removal of online infringing or abusive content.
Legal action in this area can be costly and, wherever possible, it is preferable to resolve matters out of court. We will work to enforce your rights without allowing the matter to become entrenched and negotiate to try to find an acceptable solution without delay.
It is generally the case that the quicker action is taken, the less damage is done and the more quickly matters can be resolved. This will also send a clear signal to others that you will vigorously protect your brand and your intellectual property.
Common questions about brand protection law and intellectual property
What is intellectual property?
Intellectual property refers to creations of the mind, such as designs, logos, writing, audio, software, branding and advertising materials.
The definition of intellectual property extends widely and could include customer research that you have carried out, databases you have compiled and even your business strategy.
What are intellectual property rights?
If you own intellectual property, for example, because you created it, you purchased the rights to it or you have developed a brand, you are entitled to certain rights over it. These rights include not to have your intellectual property copied or used by someone else.
Taking steps to protect intellectual property where necessary can be vital to safeguard your brand and your reputation.
How many types of intellectual property rights are there?
There are several different types of intellectual property, including trademark, copyright, designs, patents, trade secrets and confidential information.
How do you protect your intellectual property rights and copyright?
Some rights over intellectual property arise automatically, while others can be registered.
Protecting design rights
If you create a design, it is automatically protected in the UK for fifteen years or, if it is sold, for ten years from the date on which it is first sold. This applies to the shape and configuration of your design. Work created by an employee during the course of their employment will generally belong to the employer.
Your design needs to be original and not commonly recognised.
To protect the rights to your design, you need to be able to show that you designed it or you commissioned it and the date that it was created.
You can send copies to yourself by registered dated post and leave the envelope unopened. Alternatively, you can ask your bank or your solicitor to hold copies of the designs.
Protecting intellectual property with a trade mark
Trade mark protection is mainly used for logos, symbols and other branding. It can be words, logos, colours, slogans and sounds.
If you wish to register a trade mark, it needs to be distinctive and the description should not be generic or misleading. It cannot be similar to the flag of a country or another symbol such as a crest, unless you have consent to use this.
Before you register your trade mark, you will need to check the trade mark register on the government website to ensure that your design is not similar to an existing trade mark.
You will need to select the right class and terms for your trade mark, such as class 25, which covers clothing, footwear and headgear, and then terms such as shirts or uniforms. If your property fits into more than one class, you should register it in each applicable class.
An application to register a trade mark should be sent to the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). The IPO will check your proposed trade mark against the trade mark register and publish your request in its journal. This allows anyone with an objection to raise it.
If there are no problems or objections, your trade mark will be granted and the IPO will register it. It will then last for ten years, after which time you can renew it. This can be done indefinitely.
Protecting intellectual property with copyright
Copyright is an automatic right for a wide range of works that can be recorded or “fixed” in some way, including:
- Written work such as literature and plays
- Art, to include iconic designs
- Sound recordings, films and video
- Typographical editions of work
- Video games
To be capable of copyright, the work needs to be original. Copyright exists without being registered and is intended to protect your work from being copied, distributed, put on the internet, rented, adapted or broadcast without your consent.
The length of time copyright lasts can vary. For written works, it is generally the life of the author plus 70 years.
Protecting intellectual property with a patent
If you have a new invention, you may be able to apply for a patent to protect this. A patent will safeguard your work from being used by others for twenty years, but no longer.
To be eligible for a patent, your invention will need to satisfy three criteria:
- It is novel
- It includes an inventive step
- It has an industrial application
An application for a patent needs to be made to the IPO. It can take years to be granted and the IPO advises that you seek legal advice before you start the application process as only one in twenty applications made without the help of an IP professional are successful.
Do you need a lawyer for intellectual property?
Intellectual property and the enforcement of related rights is a complex area of law and mistakes can be costly. Using a solicitor will ensure that you have the advice you need to identify and protect your assets.
If your intellectual property rights have been infringed, involving a solicitor early will give you the best chance of resolving matters promptly and before they escalate. It is often the case that a strongly worded letter from a law firm will help the other party see that it is in the best interests to cease the activity.
Call today to speak to an intellectual property lawyer
Our intellectual property rights solicitors are available in Uxbridge, Beaconsfield, Reading and Ascot. You can call one of our legal offices directly or fill in the enquiry form on our contact page and one of our legal team will call you.