In the Information Age, it is important that businesses realise just how valuable their intellectual property (IP) is.
By protecting their trading name and documenting ownership of the copyright contained in images, written works and sound/moving image clips, as well as applying for patents to cover relevant products and processes, businesses can ensure that others do not unfairly benefit from their creations, and generate maximum profit from these assets through licensing or, in some instances, “selling” these rights to others.
At Palmers Solicitors, we provide clear and frank advice on protecting, licensing or transferring IP rights, and the action that should be taken if a dispute occurs relating to your brand.
As the patent box regime is set to come into force from April 2013, IP has achieved even greater significance. This regime allows eligible companies to benefit from a 10 percent rate of corporation tax on all profits arising from qualifying patents and other IP rights, so it is even more important that businesses ensure their assets are protected.
However, as patents take a number of years to be granted, it is vital that your plans to patent a product or process are protected by ensuring that any disclosure to third parties is supported by a suitable confidentiality agreement.
As no single agreement will suit all circumstances, the team at Palmers Solicitors can advise businesses on what should be included.
Should a dispute arise, we are able to take immediate injunctive or other action on your behalf. We can advise on a wide range of matters, such as:
- Infringement of trade marks, copyright or design rights
- Patent disputes
- Abuse of confidential information and trade secrets
- Domain name disputes and other IT issues
- Data protection and privacy
- Breach of confidentiality agreements
Even if you have not yet registered your trading name, your rights may be protected using the common law action of Passing Off. In order to rely on this action, the business concerned must be able to prove that the reputation it has built up has been detrimentally affected by another’s use of its brand. This can be very difficult to evidence in practice.
It is far easier to take legal action against infringements of registered trade marks. On this basis, we advise businesses to seriously consider registration of their brand names and logos at the earliest opportunity.