An intellectual property solicitor specialises in the law relating to trade marks, copyright, designs, patents, trade secrets and confidential information. The proper exploitation of information technology (IT) and IP can have a very substantial impact on the profitability of a business. Our solicitors assist in the protection of proprietary rights in valuable commercial assets which when exploited properly can give a competitive edge in the market leading to increased capital value. Our panel solicitors legal services include :-
A trade mark legal protection often does not stop dishonest entrepreneurs from trying to benefit from the work of others. Our intellectual property solicitor panel members are able to take emergency action including application for an injunction to protect the misuse of assets.
Copyright can protect written material, photographs, music, films, computer programmes, computer games and video productions. There is nothing that needs to be done as copyright automatically applies to these items however it may be useful to be in a position to prove when an original work first came into being.
Patents apply to new inventions that involve a new innovation that has not been thought of before and are capable of industrial application. Once an intellectual property solicitor has registered the patent inventors have monopoly rights to exploit their invention for a fixed period of up to 20 years, after which any other person is free to use the technology. Again the invention must not have been made public prior to registration. Patent protection can also be obtained worldwide.
If a competitor attempts to use a trade mark or the name of another firm then an action for ‘passing off’ may succeed in the courts. Passing off occurs when one trader attempts to take advantage of the business reputation of another trader, to the detriment of that other trader.
Almost all businesses depend on confidential material to give them a competitive edge. It is a matter of some importance that those in the know are prevented from disclosing their knowledge by use of relevant and enforceable confidentiality clauses both in contracts of employment and contracts to carry out work for the business.
Designs can only be registered if the are visual including decorative patterns, distinctive packaging and ornamental goods. In order to become registered a design must be kept under wraps until after registration which lasts for 25 years. Registration gives the applicant monopoly manufacturing, sale, import and export rights. Other designs that do not have visual appeal may become protected unregistered designs which covers technical designs. This simply gives protection against copying for 10 years.