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“Intellectual property rights” is a phrase used to cover a variety of legal rights which can either arise automatically or be registered in respect of creative works, whether that’s a brand identity, trademark, know-how or confidential information or artistic/dramatic works.
It is important that these assets are protected from potential competitors, so you control how you exploit them. To do this, you will need the advice of a specialist intellectual property dispute Solicitor to ensure legal recognition and enforcement of the ownership of your IP rights.
Our Intellectual Property Solicitors are able to advise on all aspects of registering, protecting and exploiting your IP, putting you in control of how your IP is used.
We would welcome the opportunity to review your IP portfolio and discuss your requirements in detail with you. We will work with you to compile IP strategies that ensure your IP is protected.
Our specialist IP solicitors can assist you with:
Copyright protects against the copying and unauthorised use of another’s work.
It is important to understand what rights you have when you create original work and how you can stop this from being exploited without your consent.
Copyright disputes can happen due to numerous different reasons. However, the fundamental issue of copyright infringement is whether the work being disputed was in fact protected and whether the new work is breaching any protection due to similarity.
On instruction, our team will review your copyright issue and discuss with you the options available. They will then provide you with advice on how best to proceed and support you throughout your dispute.
A trademark protects branding for businesses including product names, logos, acronyms, slogans, trading styles and even colours. Trademarks are a very valuable form of IP because they become associated with quality and consumer expectations in a product or service. It is, therefore, vital for you to identify, register and protect your businesses’ trademark and to understand what rights and remedies are available to you if it is breached.
A trademark is a symbol, word or words used by a trader to distinguish its products or services from those of others.
Trademark owners can apply for a Community trademark (CTM) or a UK trademark. A UK registered trademark is only enforceable in the UK, whereas a CTM is enforceable throughout the EU. Each type of registration lasts ten years and is renewable for further ten-year periods.
It is possible to register trademarks throughout the world, although it is advisable to initially register them in the countries where the goods or services are to be supplied.
To be registrable, a trademark must be distinctive, capable of being represented graphically, capable of distinguishing goods or services, and not excluded by statute.
Passing off is a form of IP law. It is the wrongful act of misusing the “get-up” or “look and feel” of a brand and enables a court to protect the business goodwill associated with a particular name or mark used in the course of trade.
The effect of passing off can be highly damaging to your business. Therefore, if you suspect your name or mark is being copied by someone else, then we recommend that you seek advice from a specialist solicitor to discuss your options.
Design rights protect the design of 3D objects which can cover designs of colour, shape, texture and materials. Design rights can be registered or unregistered - providing different levels of protection. If you have a design that you wish to protect it is vital for you to seek early legal advice to discuss the options available to you.
To have a registered design right, design owners can apply for a UK Registered Design mark or a Community Registered Design mark.
Infringements arise when a design is reproduced or recorded without specific permission from the designer in question.
There are various remedies for design right infringements such as damages, injunctions or the destruction of goods.
Our team will advise you on the best possible options given your situation and stand by your side throughout the whole dispute process.
Patents relate to inventions. They involve an application being made by an inventor giving them the right to stop anyone else from making, using or selling their invention without their permission.
Patents provide inventors with a legally protectable monopoly over their inventions and protect new and innovative technical features of products and processes. They last for a limited period - 20 years in most countries.
To qualify for patent protection, an invention must be new, involve an innovative step, be capable of industrial application and not specifically excluded from protection. To obtain a patent, an application needs to be filed. This is normally with the patent office of the country where the inventor works. The process for registering a patent is not easy and can be expensive. It is, therefore, recommended that you seek advice from a specialist lawyer and/or patent attorney to guide you through the process.
For many businesses their website is an essential part of their brand and customer experience. It is, therefore, very important to be aware of what domain name rights you have especially if this is closely linked to your organisation’s brand.
A domain name is the part of a URL that is unique to a particular website (for example Myerson.co.uk) Domain names are capable of being registered with an accredited registrar. They can also be registered as trademarks.
Conflicts can arise where different parties have competing interests in the same domain name. Dealing with domain name disputes can be technical and are dealt with by specialist Courts or by specialist organisations such as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICAAN).
Identifying what IP you have and filing the appropriate applications for registration of your IP are only the first steps in protecting and exploiting your IP.
In exploiting your IP, it is vital that you do this in a safe and controlled manner to ensure that you have adequate protection and that your IP is not put to any unnecessary risk or exposure.
Our specialist IP Solicitors can advise on the range of documentation that you should put in place to best protect your interests , including:
One of the most valuable assets of a business is information. Where this information is confidential in nature it is usually protected by the law of confidence – for example, a secret formula, a method of manufacture, or a list of customers and suppliers.
From a commercial perspective, certain confidential information could give a company an edge over other competitors. Therefore, it is important to obtain specialist advice to identify and control the flow of confidential information and take necessary legal action where this has been compromised.
The law of breach of confidence preserves trade secrets and confidences. For information to be protected, it must be confidential in nature and disclosed in circumstances imposing a duty of confidence. The basic principle is that a person who has received information in confidence cannot take unfair advantage of it or use it without permission of the owner. There is often a crossover with confidential information and other IP rights such as copyright.
Disputes can arise where there has been unauthorised use of information deemed confidential giving rise to a claim for misuse of confidential information which can lead to damages and/or injunctive relief.
Our specialist intellectual property team are ranked by the Legal 500 legal directory. This means that you can be certain that you will be receiving highest quality of legal advice and displays our strength in advising on complex IP issues.
Our specialist intellectual property team advise clients on a broad range of IP matters from initial registration and exploitation / lawful use through to protection and enforcement. Our specialist IP litigation team is also highly experienced in business disputes involving intellectual property.
Myerson are also a member of the Intellectual Property Lawyers Association (IPLA) which is an association of law firms with an established IP department. Our membership provides both us and our clients with access to a wealth of knowledge and expertise relating to intellectual property.
Through our many years of service, we have close working relationships with trademark and patent attorneys and regularly liaise and work with them on a wide range of intellectual property issues such as registering trademarks, patents and design rights and when disputes arise in relation to intellectual property rights. These working relationships are a key element of the service we offer to our clients and which benefits our clients.
Myerson is also the Manchester and Cheshire law firm member for the MSI Global Alliance, a top 20 ranked, leading, international association of independent professional firms. As the IP matters we deal with often involve an international element, we can call upon the expertise and knowledge of our fellow MSI members to ensure that our client’s global interests are protected.
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Home-grown or recruited from national, regional or City firms. Our specialists are experts in their fields and respected by their peers.
Jonathan is a Partner in our Commercial Litigation department
Vicky is a Senior Solicitor in our Commercial Litigation & Construction departments
Robert is a Solicitor in our Commercial Litigation department
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