Protecting intellectual property
Generate revenue from your Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) and prevent unauthorised use
Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) are the rights associated with creative effort, which can be legally protected. Some arise automatically on creation; other rights will only be protected if granted through registration.
Where you have created (or have commissioned) works protected by IPRs, you must ensure the related rights to that work are managed properly and that your business either owns or has permission to use the intellectual property, or grants others the right to use the works.
The most common forms of IPRs include:
Copyright: protecting written, artistic, musical and dramatic works, typographical arrangements, sound recordings, broadcasts, films and cable programmes
- Designs: either registered (protecting two or three dimensional designs) or unregistered (protecting aspects or shapes of configurations for articles, but not the articles themselves)
- Patents: providing an exclusive right to work inventions which are novel, have an inventive step and are capable of industrial application
- Trade marks: protecting the brands used by a company, whether through registration, or through the law of passing-off an unregistered trade mark where the brand is protected by goodwill
- Database rights: allowing a party to take action against copying (in whole or part) a database that has had a suitable amount of investment into it
- Domain names: protecting a company’s reputation online through use of its domain names
Use of IPRs
You might use IPRs as a marketing tool or exploit them commercially by selling or licensing the rights in return for payment. It is also possible to raise finance based on the value of the IPRs you own.
You can transfer ownership or license rights in IPRs to third parties and it is important to get the documentation right to clarify who owns what, the scope of their use and how arrangements may be terminated.
We advise on all aspects of ownership and licensing, including working collaboratively with third parties and the creation of joint IPRs, joint ventures, licensing IPRs for royalties, research and development agreements and protection strategies.
We also undertake IPR audits for businesses, whether as an internal due diligence exercise, or prior to a company gearing up for sale or for valuation prior to transfer.
Our fixed fee product asb brandprotect, offers registered trade mark protection.
For more information on protecting your intellectual property and to start a conversation on how we can help you please contact Debbie Venn, Partner and Head of Technology, Media and Telecommunications.