IP & Trade Matters
Intellectual property is the generic term used to describe a range of legal rights that the law will recognise and protect that relate to someone’s ideas or information and the physical way in which those are expressed. The following list describes a range of intellectual property rights :-
- Design rights
- Confidential information
Broadly speaking these types of rights fall under two categories, that is those that need to be registered with an official body such as the UK Intellectual Property Office before you can enforce them, and those that arise automatically and require no registration.
If the main commodity of your business relates to the gathering of information, the expression of an idea whether artistic, musical, dramatic or literary (including computer programmes), the invention of new processes or the creation of new designs, then you will need a detailed understanding of intellectual property law and particularly in relation to copyright, patents and design rights. Some aspects of intellectual property law, notably patents, tend to be a highly specialist field. If the nature of your intellectual property requires a specialist opinion then we will refer you on.
Even if those are not the main part of your business you must still be aware of the need to protect confidential information from being leaked and exploited by competitors and to protect the goodwill associated with your trading name or logo.
One of the fundamental principles behind the recognition of intellectual property rights is that the owner can then exploit that right for commercial gain. This often involves the granting of licences to others to exploit that right in return for royalties or some other payment, or, on occasion, simply selling the right to a third party.
If you want to discuss how to:-
· protect your intellectual property;
· exploit it commercially or,
· Protect it from being infringed by someone else
Please contact our Commercial Team on 01604 622101.
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