If you suspect someone might be infringing your intellectual property rights, or if you become involved in a dispute, it is essential that you talk to our solicitors so we can help you deal with any patents, copyright or trademark issues that you have. We will ensure that your rights are looked after and the issues will be resolved.
The different forms of patent law and what kind of rights they can protect.
A patent protects an invention. If you create a new invention you can apply for a Patent protecting it from being copied.
- A patent can help you to prevent others from stealing your idea and producing it themselves.
- In cases where the rights are in conflict, a patent doesn't necessarily authorise you to produce the product yourself.
- Being the first person to have an idea doesn't entitle you to a patent, as this typically will go to the first person to apply for a patent.
Copyright protects any ideas recorded in any form (such as a book, film or musical recording).
- If a piece of work is produced as part of an employment contract, by default the copyright will go to the employer.
- Copyright has a fixed time, which alters according to the form. For example, for sound recordings, copyright expires 70 years after the end of the calendar year in which it was originally released.
- Copyright restricts public performance, copying, adapting, publishing, renting and lending of the work.
A trademark is a name, logo or other device that represent a brand.
- It must be a sign that can be graphically represented (which could include words, numbers, letters, symbols or graphics).
- It should be something that distinguishes your brand from others.
- A trademark does not prove that you created something, but it protects the fact that it is connected with your brand. For example, the BBC owns rights to the blue telephone box as a trademark of the TV drama series Doctor Who, but it did not invent them.
In cases of intellectual property disputes, our solicitors will help you to understand the differences and make sure that your rights are well looked after. For best results, it's important to seek legal advice at the very start of your creative process. Contact us today for more information.
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