Intellectual Property (IP) refers to the creative work that can be classified as a business asset, such as, product names, inventions, literary and artistic drawings, symbols and designs.
Intellectual Property law, has rules and regulations set in place to protect these creative works, by ensuring the original inventors are the sole profiteers.
We make direct access work for you by offering all-inclusive paralegal support to manage all of your case documentation, effectively cutting your legal costs. After all there’s no need to pay solicitors rates for basic administrative tasks, when you can have it handled exclusively through the help of our expert paralegals.
Our Intellectual Property barristers safeguard your business ideas from theft and copying, that may affect your market share and reputation. We offer tactical legal advice for small companies and digital agencies to large corporations, and support our clients throughout every stage of their intellectual property issue.
If you believe that an individual or company has committed IP infringement, your case may result in unexpected and costly legal fees from Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and litigation. However, we can offer you cost-effective payment plans with affordable monthly instalments, so you can receive the legal support you need right away.
When your valuable business assets are at stake, it’s important not to take any unnecessary risks. We pride ourselves on tracking the success records of our panel of IP barristers to ensure your creative work is protected at all times.
Contact one of our legal experts today for practical advice and cost-effective payment solutions on 0800 888 6760.
We take into consideration your individual circumstances, to help you get the best possible outcome. If you have already appointed a IP barrister to your case, we can still offer you legal advice, paralegal assistance and affordable payment plans. We will and will make all the necessary arrangements on your behalf, personally. Start your payment plan now to arrange your payment plan.
It is important for businesses to have the right type of intellectual property protection. Our direct access barristers and paralegals can help clients with:
• Domain names;
• Trade marks;
• Confidentiality agreements and trade secrets;
• Design rights;
• Trade libel; and
Every business and invention starts with a novel idea. If your invention is original and not a modification of something that exists in the current market, you can get a patent to protect others from using, making or selling your idea. If a patent is granted by the government, the invention becomes the property of the inventor.
If you are considering applying for a patent, you should do initial research online. If you don’t find your idea, you should then consider researching published patent applications, registered patent databases, trade booklets and catalogues to ensure your invention doesn’t already exist. You may ask a patent barrister or other IP professional advisor to conduct a search on your behalf.
To apply for a patent, inventors must ensure that their idea:
• Is completely new;
• Is capable of industrial application in the UK; and
• Involves an inventive step – to ensure differentiation from other products in the market.
Should you need to talk to a potential business partner or manufacturer before you apply, you may ask them to sign a confidentiality agreement first to safeguard your invention against theft or copyright. IP barristers can prepare this type of agreement between you and other parties involved, to ensure your sensitive information is protected. Receiving legal advice from an experienced professional in IP may also help prevent you from unknowingly infringing another person’s patent rights.
The following documentation needed to prepare your patent application includes:
• A written description of your invention, showing how it works and how it could be produced;
• Drawings to illustrate your product or service; and
• Statements that define your invention, listing technical features and product functions.
Once you have collected the necessary documentation and application forms, you need to send it forward to the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). Until the patent is granted, it is known as “patent pending”. They will conduct a preliminary search and send you the results in approximately 4 months.
You should contact an experienced IP barrister at the earliest opportunity, as these professionals have specialist skills to draft your documentation properly to ensure a successful outcome.
The IPO will forward the applicant a filing receipt that includes an application number and confirms the filing date of your patent application. The patent will then be published and go into the public domain. Within 6 months of publication, the office will do a substantive examination. If your idea meets the criteria, and there are no objections to your patent, you have been successful, and they will confirm this by sending a patent certificate.
Typically, the standard period of patent protection is 20 years, but it can be shortened by the patent lapsing or being revoked, if the company goes into insolvency. Patent holders can also ‘surrender’ patents, effectively declaring they no longer want them to be enforceable.
Inventors can also protect their patent against infringement. Patent infringement occurs when someone uses your patent without expressed permission. In these cases, you can take legal action by seeking advice from an IP barristers.
We offer direct access to barristers, with all-inclusive paralegal support to ensure that your business assets are protected. Our experienced paralegals can assist with documentation management and drafting patent applications. They can also help with collecting necessary information if you are dealing with counter-claims for invalidity or if you are facing patent infringement.
Our direct access barristers can help you process an injunction to stop the perpetrator from using your patent, and assist with making a claim for damages and compensation if you believe you or your company has suffered financial loss from the infringement. However, where infringement takes place prior to the date of grant, but after the publication date, no action can be taken until the patent proceeds through the grant. Legal action can only be taken if the patent has been approved.
We can give you practical solutions and cost-effective payment plans, so you can cut your costs upfront. IP law can be extremely complex and therefore requires the help of IP barristers and paralegals with considerable knowledge and IP expertise to negotiate the best possible settlement. Protect your interests by contacting a member of our legal experts today on 0800 888 6760.
Your domain name is important to establish your business’ online presence and branding. Most businesses choose a domain name that relates to all or part of their business, such as the name of their company or product.
Unless you register your domain name, you will need to use an address that is allocated by your internet service provider. Many choose to register their domain name as it gives them more flexibility when choosing a professional name for their online business, and makes it easier for potential customers to find them on Google. Registration is relatively cheap and easy to do, giving you peace of mind that your own the rights to use this domain over the course of the registration period.
If the domain name you want is already taken you can:
• Wait for the domain to expire, then register it for your own company;
• Try and buy the domain name from the organisation that has registered it.
• If you have a stronger claim to the domain, you may need to use dispute resolution or litigation to have it legally transferred to you.
In many cases, several businesses could have rights to one domain name, particularly if the domain name describes the product rather than using their official trade mark or company name.
However, if you believe there has been unauthorised registration of your domain name in bad faith, you can claim trade mark infringement. Our panel of direct access IP barristers and paralegals can help you throughout each stage of your trademark infringement case.
If an individual has registered a domain name using your trade mark in order to sell it to you, or is using it for financial gain under your business name, they are breaching your intellectual property rights.
Unfortunately, due to the rise in online businesses, this type of infringement is becoming more complex and more common in recent years. To handle this quickly and efficiently, you should contact an experienced IP barrister so you understand what you’re entitled to.
Our additional paralegal support services can help you legally register your domain name, offer ADR and arbitration to resolve the dispute, and appoint our IP barristers to represent you in court so you can receive compensation or an injunction from trade mark infringement.
If you’re concerned about the legal costs in pursuing a claim for infringement, we’re here to help. Our legal experts can offer you cost-effective payment solutions to minimise your fees upfront.
Don’t hesitate to contact our IP barristers today for tactical advice and affordable payment plans on 0800 888 6760.
Brand ownership helps to differentiate your business in the market place. Incorporating a company and buying a domain name does not protect the entirety of your brand. However, registering for a trade mark can protect your business name, logo or slogan. The ® trade mark shows that the brand is yours, and prohibits anyone else from using it. Trade marks also add value to your business by allowing you to sell and licence your brand.
Trade mark ownership shows potential investors and buyers, that you are reputable and your intellectual property is protected. You can choose to protect your brand with UK, EU or international trade marks, and they can remain registered for up to 10 years.
Before you register your trade mark, you must search the trade mark database to see if someone has already registered an identical or similar mark. If you find that another holder has the same trade mark you want to use, they must give you a ‘letter of consent’ to submit along with your application.
Once you have sent your application, you will receive an examination report within 2 months. During this time, your trade mark will be officially published in the Trade Marks Journal and if there are no objections, the IPO will send you a certificate.
However, if you didn’t register your trade mark, and someone uses it without your permission, you may be able to claim compensation through passing off. Passing off can be used to enforce unregistered trade mark rights. Passing off, protects the goodwill of the trader from a misrepresentation.
To claim passing off, you must be able to prove that:
• You are trading in the goods and services which the mark applies to, as only traders who have generated goodwill can claim a passing off action;
• You have built up a good reputation attached to the trade mark;
• The public associate your trade mark with the goods you produce, or services you provide;
• A third party has made misrepresentations to the public that they offer your goods; or
• This stolen trade mark has caused damage and financial loss to your business.
If your application is rejected, or you want to claim passing off, it’s important to get sound legal advice from a trade mark barrister. Our panel of direct access barristers and paralegals help you get your business trade mark registered, offer ADR and arbitration to resolve your trade mark issue, and if all other dispute resolution avenues are exhausted, provide the best representation in court.
Working nationwide, our trade mark barristers aim to ensure your intellectual property rights are protected at all times. If you’re concerned about your legal fees, our team can offer you cost-effective payment plans so you can get the support you need immediately. To find out more, call one of our legal experts for practical advice and affordable payment solutions on 0800 888 6760.
Copyright protects your work and prevents others from using it without your permission. For your work to be protected by copyright law, you need to prove that it is original and tangible. Unlike a patent or trade mark, you don’t have to apply or register to be protected by copyright. UK businesses can receive copyright protection automatically. Some may decide to mark their work with © and the year of the company’s formation, to prove that the work is their own.
Copyright, protects against individuals, businesses and competitors:
• Distributing your work;
• Deliberately copying your work;
• Performing, displaying or playing your work in public; or
• Releasing your work online.
Copyright law, establishes the rights of the owner and the responsibilities of other individuals who want to use the work. In the UK, copyright typically lasts for the lifetime of the inventor, plus 70 years after their death. However, this can be subject to change depending on the type of business asset.
Some organisations, such as libraries or schools, do not need your permission to use your work. However, if you believe that your ideas have been subject to copyright infringement, you should contact an IP barrister with experience in this field at the earliest opportunity.
Most individuals and companies must apply for a licence if they want to use your work. If you want to reject the application, you have the right to do so.
If all other options for negotiation and ADR have been exhausted, you should contact an IP barrister to help you make a claim to the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court for an injunction or compensation for damages and/ or royalties.
If your claim progresses to court, you need to provide clear evidence that your work pre-dates their registration of work. This will ultimately be the best possible defence to ensure you receive what you’re entitled to.
To prove copyright infringement, the claimant will also need to provide evidence that the other party’s work is substantially similar in design, structure or content, to the degree that it may have been copied from their original work. Our additional paralegal support services can assist you every step of the way, in collecting the necessary documentation to validate your case for copyright infringement.
Our IP barristers can work with both claimants and defendants to gather evidence to ensure you get the best possible outcome in your copyright infringement case. Get in touch with a member of our legal team today, for tactical advice and cost-effective payment plans on 0800 888 6760.
Confidentiality agreements and trade secrets
Any confidential information which provides a competitive edge for a business may be considered a ‘trade secret’. These can involve anything from commercial information and advertising strategies, to client data and industrial knowledge. Unauthorised use of trade secrets is a violation of intellectual property rights.
Companies need to ensure that they limit their trade secret information to essential personnel only. They must also ensure that their employees and clients understand the difference between confidential information and less sensitive information. Many businesses may choose to educate employees on how to maintain secrecy.
Due to the depth and complexity of trade secrets, they are not subject to the same protection as other types of intellectual property. However, you may choose to draft Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA) with third parties to safeguard your trade secrets from potential breaches.
To claim a breach in trade secrets, the individual must prove that:
• The information has a quality of confidence;
• An obligation for secrecy was express or implied; and
• There was an unauthorised use of trade secret information.
If you find yourself in the situation where an employee, client or ex-employee has shared private information, you may apply for injunctive relief to prevent the other party from using the information, or seek damages and compensation if the breach has caused financial loss. You should seek legal advice from an IP barrister at the earliest opportunity so they can build a case that demonstrates to the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court, the significance, secrecy and value of what has been taken.
We offer direct access to barristers, with all-inclusive paralegal support services to help you get the result you want by drafting confidentiality agreements, negotiate settlements with other parties on your behalf, and when litigation is avoidable, give you the best representation in court.
A leak in trade secrets can be potentially damaging to your business reputation and market share. Don’t worry, you don’t have to go through this alone. We’re here to help. Contact us today for direct access and paralegal assistance to protect your secret information. Call a member of our legal team for tactical advice and affordable payment plans now on 0800 888 6760.
Design rights only apply to the shape and configuration of products. To qualify for protection, your design must be completely original. In the UK, inventors can receive automatic protection for their designs for either 10 years after it was first sold, or 15 years after it was created. Obtaining design rights does not protect the functionality of the product. If you are considering this type of protection, you should look into the eligibility for patents. Both design rights and patentability can co-exist in different features of the same product.
You may also choose to register your design, to ensure you have the complete monopoly right over that design. This differs from design rights, as a registered design protects the colours, materials, texture, lines and shape of the product. Creators must register to protect 2-dimensional designs such as textiles, graphics and wallpaper. Registered designs are protected for up to 25 years in the UK. Third parties are prohibited from producing products that incorporate any elements of the registered design.
To register your design, you must fill out the design application forms and send them to the IP office. If you wish, you can file for multiple designs within a single design application. The application should include:
• Illustrations of the design, including multiple views to showcase the entire design;
• A description of the design if features aren’t adequately drawn in the attached illustrations; and
• Details of the products where the design will be applied.
You can enforce a registered design if you believe your work has been infringed. Both the design right holder and an exclusive licensee, can bring infringement proceedings before the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court to:
• Claim damages and compensation due to financial loss caused; or
• Request an injunction to prevent further infringement.
Unregistered designs, have protection for 3 years and are better for short, seasonal shelf life products. No registration procedure is acquired in the UK, meaning unregistered design protection automatically comes into effect when the design is created. However, if you choose to go unregistered, you must be able to provide evidence that you are the original creator of the design, and that a deliberate duplication has occurred.
If you are in a dispute with an individual or company over your design, you will need to claim your design right. It is important to keep a record of signed and dated copies of your design drawings or photos with your IP barrister to ensure that your rights are protected.
The owner must give a ‘licence of right’ in the final 5 years, if anyone sends a request to use your design. This allows the individual to use the licence to make and sell products that copies the design.
We can help both registered and unregistered design holders protect their assets throughout their design process. Our IP barristers and paralegals are on standby to assist with your design application, provide ADR and arbitration, defend your design rights in court and apply for an injunction to stop offenders from using your work.
If you are concerned about your legal costs during this time, we can offer you affordable payment solutions to ensure you get the support you need today. It is important to seek professional guidance at the earliest opportunity to understand what you are entitled to. Call one of our legal experts now on 0800 888 6760.
Businesses can take claims to the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court, if someone makes false statements that damage their reputation. This is called ‘defamation’. There are two different types of defamation. A false statement that is written is called ‘libel’ and when it is spoken, it is classified as ‘slander’.
In order to succeed in a defamation case, a claimant has to show that the defendant has published or said a statement that could make reasonable audiences question the image a business which may discredit their position in the market. For businesses to be able to claim against an individual or company for defamation, they must prove:
• A statement was published or spoken publicly;
• The statement is factual and not opinion based;
• The statement was of malicious falsehood; and
• The statement caused financial loss or harm to the claimant.
The claimant can make a case for malicious falsehood, when a statement is made that the other company knows to be untrue to intentionally destroy their reputation.
If the dispute can’t be settled through informal negotiation or ADR, the claimant has 12 months to lodge the trade libel claim to the courts. If the statement is not withdrawn or an apology is not made, legal action can be taken against the individual or company to receive compensations for damages caused, or in some cases, request injunctive relief to stop further defamation. However, courts do not require the defendant to correct the statement, or ask them to declare that it was a false accusation.
Receiving a defamation can be particularly stressful, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Protect your business growth and valuable assets by contacting one of our intellectual property barristers today. We can offer you direct access to barristers and additional paralegal support to help prepare all the necessary documentation so you have the best defence in court proceedings.
Contact our direct access barristers for confidential legal support and cost-effective payment plans to manage your legal fees throughout your deformation case. For more information on what services we provide, get in touch with one of our legal experts now on 0800 888 6760.
Counterfeiting can occur when a group is manufacturing, importing and distributing a product that falsely carries the trade mark of a legal brand without their permission.
You should take the proactive steps to ensure that your brand is registered for patents, trade marks and designs rights in key markets, to protect your intellectual property rights.
It is essential for businesses to stop competitors imitating their key brands, products and designs. Imitations may not only divert trade from their core business, but can also cause serious reputational harm.
It is therefore important for the businesses to have internal procedures put in place, in case they are contacted by the customs authorities about a suspicious product being sold in the market. The right-holder can:
• Decide if the product may be authorised or genuine;
• Examine a sample of the goods on site; and
• Contact the other party to seek their agreement for abandonment and destruction of the goods;
However, if the examination proves that the items are counterfeit, the right-holder can either:
• Waive their IP rights and allow the legal release of the goods;
• Request destruction of the goods by obtaining a written agreement from the other party; or
• Commence a legal action for copyright/ trade mark/ patent/ design infringement.
Speed is essential to stop counterfeit transactions before they cause irreparable damage to the business. The right holder must provide custom authorities with evidence that supports their need to protect their products from counterfeit.
Groups who are profiting from fake branded goods and pirated products, may be committing infringement of trade marks or copyrights and can be prosecuted for a criminal offence. If the group is found guilty of IP crime, they may be liable to pay up to £50,000 and serve a custodial sentence of up to 10 years, depending on the severity of the case.
If you and the other party can’t reach a settlement through negotiation and ADR, you should contact an experienced IP barrister and take legal action. Our direct access barristers can work closes with the Trading Standards Officers to take criminal enforcement action if necessary. The Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, grants investigators the right to examine criminal assets and work with IP barristers to apply to the courts for confiscation and compensation on behalf of the client.
If you are facing a problem with counterfeit goods, or are developing a product and you want to be in the best position to enforce your rights against counterfeiters, get in touch with one of our legal IP barristers today.
We can offer you direct access to barristers and all-inclusive paralegal support to help you with documentation management and filing that barristers may expect you to do yourself. If you are concerned about the legal cost involved to bring counterfeiters to justice, we can offer you cost-effective solutions to cut your fees upfront.
Contact one of our legal experts now for paralegal assistance, legal advice and affordable payment plans now on 0800 888 6760.
Disputes can arise with intellectual property if an individual commits infringement. If both parties cannot reach an agreement through negotiation and ADR, you can file legal proceedings through the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) or through the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court.
When your valuable business assets and reputation are at stake, it’s important not to take any unnecessary risks that put your business in jeopardy. Intellectual property matters are often quite complex, so you should seek assistance from a knowledgeable legal representative to ensure you receive the best possible outcome.
Protect your business growth and valuable assets by contacting one of our intellectual property barristers today. We can help prevent competitors profiting from your ideas by giving you all-inclusive paralegal support and affordable payment plans to manage your legal fees throughout your intellectual property issue.
We take a different approach to direct access to barristers by providing paralegal assistance to help with administrative tasks, such as documentation management, filing and other litigious functions that you may expected to complete yourself. These services help cut your costs further by choosing an affordable alternative to solicitors and barristers administrative fees.
From advisory and transactional matters to conflict resolution, litigation and enforcement of injunctions, our legal team are here to help you every step of the way.
Get in touch with one of our IP dispute resolution experts now, to receive paralegal support, pragmatic legal advice and cost-effective payment solutions on 0800 888 6760.
We take into consideration your individual circumstances, to help you get the best possible outcome. If you have already appointed a IP barrister to your case, we can still offer you legal advice and payment plan solutions. We will and will make all the necessary arrangements on your behalf, personally. Start your payment plan now to arrange your payment plan.