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Experienced intellectual property solicitors
Our intellectual property solicitors are highly experienced in a wide range of matters, including the following:
Registered and Unregistered
Intellectual property rights generally fall into two camps: registered rights, such as trade marks, patents and registered designs; and unregistered rights, such as copyright, confidential information, unregistered design rights, unregistered trade marks.
This is a trading symbol distinguishing a certain product from others. Examples can include packaging, a brand name or a logo. Trademarks are protected by registered rights, provided they are capable of being represented graphically, are distinctive, can distinguish the goods or services and provided that the right is not excluded by statute. Trademarks can also be protected by unregistered rights in an action for passing off (misrepresentation of the trademark).
Patents protect inventions, devices or new, inventive products and processes. They are not granted automatically, but can offer a high level of protection and are integral in industries where new inventions involve extensive research and development so that new advances are protected.
Design rights protect the appearance of a functional product. They can be both registered and unregistered. Registered designs give a legal monopoly to the design, whereas unregistered designs give the owner a right against copying.
Copyright protects original ‘works’ (literary, dramatic musical or artistic), arising automatically on the creation of the work and belonging most often to the author. Copyright ownership allows the owner to prevent unauthorised copying and use of the work.
This involves the protection of information which is sensitive to a business. The information must be confidential, must have been imparted in circumstances in which an obligation of confidence arises, and the unauthorised use of it would be detrimental to the person imparting it.
There is no specific pre-action protocol which applies to IP; however parties are expected to act reasonably by exchanging sufficient information and documents relevant to the matter and attempt to resolve the claim without going to court if possible.
There are a wide range of remedies available to successful claimants, including: injunctive relief, delivery up of goods, destruction of infringing copies, damages or account of profits, in addition to costs and interest.
Find out how our intellectual property solicitors can help with IP disputes.
Other factors to Consider
Other factors to Consider
Company buyback of shares and subsequent cancellation. This can be a useful route provided 75% of the shareholders will consent as the Company meets the acquisition cost; however it must have sufficient surplus cash.
If a founder is looking to step aside then perhaps a reorganisation can assist with the variation of rights but retention of financial reward.
An anti-embarrassment clause can operate effectively in any settlement agreement, with the sale price for shares being uplifted if an event such as a sale of the business occurs or funding is received subsequent to exit.
A key to the resolution of a dispute is often an independent valuation of the relevant shareholding. To secure this the parties will need to determine the basis of the valuation.
News, Insights & Resources
M&S had commenced an intellectual property claim against Aldi alleging that Aldi’s caterpillar shaped cake named ‘Cuthbert’ infringes the M&S Colin the Caterpillar trademark and amounts to ‘passing off’.
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