Intellectual Property Law
Our experienced Intellectual Property Law team is well recognised, having worked with household names and international brands.
Intellectual Property encompasses a vast and diverse array of business property from software and other copyright materials, to designs and logos and inventions and processes. The laws surrounding Intellectual Property fall into a number of areas, copyright, trade marks, design rights and patents.
Intellectual Property Services
Listen to our Presentation on Intellectual Property (IP) in Joint Ventures.
- Advising businesses on their holistic intellectual property strategy including its protection and exploitation
- Advising international brands on their intellectual property portfolio
- Advising numerous businesses on strategic Intellectual Property Provisions in agreements with household name brands, including in relation to software provision, service provision and the international supply of goods
Intellectual Property Law FAQs
Intellectual Property Services
- Brand management and licensing and brand exploitation
- Copyright Protection Advice
- Advice on copyright infringements
- Trade mark advice and applications
- Design right applications, registered designs and renewals
- Advising on IP provisions in commercial contracts
What are the differences between assignments and licences of intellectual property rights?
Generally speaking, an assignment of intellectual property rights will pass ownership of those intellectual property rights to the recipient of the assignment. Therefore, depending on the exact terms of the assignment, the previous owner would no longer have rights to use those intellectual property rights. Customers will often request assignments of work created for them. Whilst this is typical, thought needs to be given to whether any intellectual property rights need to be retained for the business moving forward.
Conversely, a licence only gives a right for the recipient to use the intellectual property rights within defined parameters and generally does not pass ownership across. Licences can be exclusive, sole and non-exclusive will all having different implications. It is imperative that the type of licence, the parameters on use and consequences of breach are all clearly set out in the contract and accurately reflect the intention of the parties.
The intellectual property clauses are a focal point of many IT contracts where it is important to capture rights not only in the core software, but also in any developments, in the supporting materials such as user manuals etc.
Copyright Infringement – how can it be avoided?
The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (1988 )acts to support copyright owners in protecting their work from being copied by others. Generally speaking, copyright laws give ownership of work on creation to its author, whereby they will have the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute and display their work. Copyright also gives the owner control as to who can use their creation and how it can be used. An author’s work is protected under copyright laws when the work is created, provided certain conditions are met.
On the contrary, if someone other than the owner of a work wishes to use the copyright owner’s work then, if they do not obtain permission from the owner of the work, they may fall within the ambit of copyright infringement.
There are some uses of copyright work that will not constitute infringement or which are permitted by law – for example, uses intended for specific purposes including research and private study, copying for data analysis and quotation from a work. In performing any of the permitted acts, you must work within the requisite parameters, as otherwise you could very quickly fall out of remits of a permitted act and into the remits of copyright infringement.
If you feel that you have copyright in work which has been copied, we are able to review the works and the alleged copying and give a view on whether a right exists and whether it has been infringed.
Request a video call, phone call or a meeting in person with one of our team.
Protecting your brand and business assets
It is important for businesses to protect their assets and this includes the non-tangible assets that the business owns. Registering your ownership of those assets that can be registered is key but equally important is vigilance to stop unauthorised use. It is important to take action to stop other individuals and companies from infringing your rights as if you do not take action it can later be argued that you have granted an implied licence for your works to be used.
When it comes to agreeing contracts with customers, it is integral that the intellectual property provisions are reviewed and accurately reflect the intended position. Be wary of assigning rights in items you create which may need to be used in the business elsewhere. Where granting licences make sure that the terms are appropriate and sufficiently limited. Always ensure that any protections afforded in respect of infringements of third party IP are appropriate with considered carve-outs and protections.
Intellectual property infringement
We are highly experienced at being able to resolve disputes regarding Intellectual Property including claims, providing pragmatic and commercial advice to you and your business. Often disputes such as these can be resolved without the need to resort to litigation and early involvement from us can ensure that the infringement is stopped promptly.
When it is not possible to bring the dispute to an end quickly through correspondence, we have unrivalled expertise in running proceedings to enforce and defend Intellectual Property Rights for you through the Court process should this be necessary.
Latest Intellectual Property Insights
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Copyright Protection The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (1988 )acts to support copyright...
What is an NFT? This podcast discusses NFTs and the issues that arise from ownership of...
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Recent case involving Amazon provides the answer on trademark infringement The question has...
We recently published an article explaining the benefits of putting a bespoke Confidentiality...
Copyright Infringement: Promotion on cease and desist letters
Are you the owner of copyright in photographers, pictures or words? Have you discovered someone else is using the work without your permission? A take down notice from us may be all it takes to stop the infringement of your intellectual property and to secure you a monetary sum by way of compensation.
Failure to take action can result in you losing your rights in relation to the works. Therefore, it is important to act to protect your assets.
Compensation will depend on the level of infringement.
We can review your papers, send a take-down notice and demand for payment for a fixed fee, contact our team on DRTeam@herrington-carmichael.com
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Herrington Carmichael offers legal advice to UK and International businesses as well as individuals and families. Rated as a ‘Leading Firm 2024’ by the legal directory Legal 500 and listed in The Times ‘Best Law Firms 2023 & 2024’. Herrington Carmichael has offices in London, Farnborough, Reading, and Ascot.