We understand that your intellectual property is probably one of your most valuable assets, and we can help you protect all aspects of it, identifying whether such intellectual property can be protected.
The law covering intellectual property can be complex and far-reaching, and not only includes for instance your designs and your brand names and logo, but also customer data.
At Rotheras we can identify possible risks you could face regarding your intellectual property and media law, devising strategies to manage those risks and ensure your intellectual property remains protected.
We can advise on various ways to protect and exploit your intellectual property, including:
There is no system of registration for a copyright; it arises as soon as a copyright work exists by operation of law.
Copyright includes the right to prevent others from adapting, copying or performing your work or designs as well as controlling the first communication of your works to the public.
For something to be a copyright work, it has to be recorded in some way, such as through written text, drawings, sculpture, films, songs and architecture and in order to protect it, it has to be original. However copyright does not include ideas or broad concepts.
At Rotheras we can advise on contentious and non-contentious copyright as well as copyright infringement, exploitation and enforcement.
The shape or outward appearance of a product is protected by design law in the UK and Europe. Whilst unregistered protection exists automatically, by registering designs, you can ensure a stronger form of protection.
Our intellectual property team at Rotheras can provide advice on what protection your product currently has before you launch it to market and assist with making applications to register product designs.
Trade marks can be used to protect various aspects of your designs and branding including shapes, names and sounds.
Although you don’t have to register your branding as a trade mark, if you choose not to do so your branding is open to misuse by others and you would be reliant on the law of “passing off” (see below) to prove that it is your branding.
At Rotheras we can help you identify which jurisdictions you need to protect your trade mark in, carry out searches to make sure there are no conflicts with existing trade marks and register your trade mark appropriately. We can also advise on domain names in relation to trade mark registrations.
Passing off applies to protecting unregistered rights associated with a business and its goods or services.
You may have grounds to sue for passing off if another business makes consumers believe that your goods or services are connected to them, however it can be difficult to prove. Firstly, it is not always easy to show a misrepresentation has been made and the claimant needs to be able to show that there is confusion amongst some members of the public in regard to the two businesses.
If you believe you have a case for passing off or you have been accused of passing off, our intellectual property team will work closely with you to ascertain the nature of the claim, advising on whether we think you have a successful case and suggesting methods such as alternative dispute resolution to resolve your conflict efficiently.
By entering into an intellectual property licensing agreement, the licensor or owner of the intellectual property rights give permission for a licensee to use the rights in exchange for a royalty or fee. One licence can cover a trade mark and design rights.
The advantages of having an intellectual property licence are the opportunity to get your product to different markets and territories quicker, competitive advantage, and further generation of revenue.
At Rotheras we can advise on a wide range of licences, including design right licences, trade mark licences, product licence contracts and software licensing agreements. We review, draft and negotiate licence agreements for both licensors and licensees.
We can advise you whatever the size of your business, from start-ups and SMEs to large multinational companies.
We will work with you to find out your aims and advise you on the most appropriate and cost-effective methods for protecting your intellectual property and achieving your aims.
We act for clients in various sectors.
We can also advise you if you are looking to protect your intellectual property online.
Richard Hammond is a dispute resolution specialist and mediator at Nottingham-based law firm Rotheras Solicitors. Richard is also a Notary Public, processing client documents for international use.
Robert Haggis is a Senior Associate in Corporate and Commercial Law at Rotheras and has over 35 years’ experience as a barrister and 20 years’ experience working in-house across international markets.
Billy advises businesses on a range of commercial and corporate issues and is happy to assist you with buying or selling businesses, corporate mergers and shareholder agreements
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