Intellectual Property Rights can be one of your business’ most valuable assets. We can help you exploit and protect them.
Whether you are looking to make the most of your own rights, or licence someone else’s, we can ensure that everything is in place to protect your business.
Our experience enables us to advise you on the IP issues linked to the inception and development of a product or new business idea, through exploitation, right up to buying and selling rights.
Our intellectual property team specialises in both contentious and non-contentious law. We can also help should disputes arise and we are familiar with a range of dispute resolution techniques.
In a competitive business environment it is important businesses protect and uphold intellectual property rights.
For more details on how we can help, please contact Alastair Gunn.
The Legal 500 commends us for our Intellectual Property advice:
“Head of corporate and commercial David Woods leads the practice, drawing on his 20 years’ of experience in IP contracts and corporate transactions involving IP-rich businesses.” (2019)
“Litigators Adele Whaley and associate Jamie McConnell, who is a rising star in the market, are recommended for contentious IP matters.” (2019)
Your business’s intellectual property and the goodwill that goes with it is the lifeblood of your company. It needs protecting and we can help.
We have the experience, wealth of knowledge and capability to ensure your rights are defended and enforced. Our ties with overseas firms mean your rights can be protected globally.
Our intellectual property team acts for a huge range of clients: from international conglomerates to start-ups; from media boutiques to agricultural scientists; and everything in between. Whether you need an urgent injunction to stop an invention being stolen, advice on how to protect your brand from passing off, or a defence against allegations from a competitor, we can help.
Whatever your need, our advice is tailored to your business to ensure that the commercial pressures you face are factored in to our approach. That means our advice is pragmatic, effective and accessible.
We are familiar with all types of intellectual property right within the UK, the European Community and beyond. We regularly advise clients on disputes involving:
- Trade marks – both registered and unregistered;
- Design rights – again, both registered and unregistered;
- Copyright and database rights;
- Confidential information and trade secrets; and
Goodwill, know-how, branding, domain names, designs, patents and databases are all valuable assets – make sure that you really do own yours.
Intellectual Property Rights can be very valuable assets – but they are often overlooked or misunderstood, especially as regards ownership and transfer.
First make sure that you have ownership in the first place: the rights might still be owned by the people you engaged to help you create them. It’s all too easy and common for organizations to pay a lot of money to have things produced for them and to fail to take the necessary assignment of ownership.
When you come to buy a business or a bundle of assets, make sure that you acquire full title to all of the relevant rights that go with it. It’s not like taking over premises or vehicles – there are no keys to hand over; but there are things that need to be done to make sure that you get full ownership – and we can help you with that.
Take great care when:
- Buying data, databases and email address lists – do the sellers have the right to sell them and will you have the rights to use them as you want to;
- Buying any IP Rights to make sure that the person selling does actually own them – and that you are not going to face claims of ownership from their employees or consultants;
- Buying businesses or bundles of assets that you get the necessary documents signed to transfer ownership of the IP Rights to you;
- Buying registered IP Rights (such as trade marks) that they haven’t lapsed through failure to pay renewal fees;
- Buying any IP Rights that they do not infringe the rights of anyone else, who may be about to launch an action to prevent those rights being used.
So you’ve created something, now let’s go on and make some money out of it!
A carefully considered and well-crafted contract is key to making the most of the work you have created – whether it is a copyright work, an invention or a sought after brand.
Licensing, franchising and a host of other arrangements are available to give you the opportunity to make the most out of your creative genius; but don’t just give it away, get specialist advice on these arrangements.
Remember that before you tell other people about your invention you need to get them signed up to confidentiality undertakings and contractual promises that they won’t just pinch your ideas.
We can guide you through these stages.
A few tips to get you started:
- First make sure that you own it – the law on this often trips people up;
- Register your rights, if you can – we don’t deal with registration, but we can recommend people who do.
- Get those confidentiality agreements signed up before you tell people about your creation;
- Beware of being rushed into arrangements to sell your rights – they may well be very valuable and there might be better ways for you to exploit them;
- Take great care with royalty arrangements – there are lots of traps you can fall into, so take some advice on the detail of the terms.
Get in touch with us