Intellectual Property Protection
Your business is unique. It is based on your ideas, your innovations, your designs and your brand. To keep it that way and stop others trying to unfairly imitate what you do, it is important to think about the steps you can take to protect your interests and any original creations or novel ways of doing things that you have devised.
This is something the commercial solutions team at IMD Solicitors ca help with by assisting you to identify and protect your intellectual property, both here in the UK and further afield.
What is intellectual property (IP)?
Intellectual property is a term used to describe something you have created which is sufficiently new or ground-breaking that you can prevent it being copied without your permission. This is done through the registration or assertion or of intellectual property rights, the most notable of which are trade marks, patents, copyright and design rights.
Type of intellectual property
Trade mark protection can be claimed for distinctive signs used to differentiate your products from those of your competitors, such as your brand name or business logo.
Patent protection can be claimed for products or processes that represent a new way of doing something or which provide a new solution to a known problem.
Copyright protection can be claimed for original dramatic, musical, artistic or literary work and other written text, such as software programmes, databases and website content.
Design rights protection can be claimed for the unique appearance of the whole or part of a product, including its shape, configuration or decoration.
How can IMD Solicitors help?
Our commercial solicitors can help to protect your intellectual property by:
- carrying out an audit of your business to identify any IP you have created;
- helping you to register your IP where registration is possible and to assert your ownership rights where it is not;
- assisting you to create a strategy for the exploitation of your IP in order to maintain and strength your competitive edge;
- drafting commercial IP agreements where you wish to capitalise on your IP rights, for example by allowing your work to be copied or reproduced under licence;
- managing your IP portfolio and supporting you in the renewal of IP rights where this is permitted; and
- ensuring secrecy is maintained in the development of future IP, for example through the use of employee and contractor non-disclosure agreements.
We can also help you to protect confidential information and trade secrets and in most cases our service can be offered on a fixed-fee basis.
Why choose IMD Solicitors?
Our lawyers really know their stuff when it comes to intellectual property protection and work alongside a trusted network of external IP specialists to ensure you receive the best service possible, including a number of experienced patent agents.
Although primarily based in the UK, we have several offices in Europe and a large staff of lawyers who are full conversant with the IP laws of a vast array of countries.
The breadth of our knowledge means that is is not just straightforward matters that we can help with, but complex and contentious matters too, including opposed trade mark applications and attempts to cancel or invalidate registered design rights.
We are also regularly asked to provide technical advice on the interpretation and application of IP legislation and to negotiate IP provisions in commercial contracts, including cross-border research and development collaborations.
The fact that we are a full service firm is also a big advantage as it means that we can draw on the expertise of other lawyers within the practice where necessary, for example to assist in the resolutions of intellectual property disputes and to deal with IP considerations in a corporate restructure or as part of the legal due diligence process in a business merger or acquisition.