Intellectual Property Infringement Explained

Once you’ve created your technology, design or brand, one of the most important things you will do with it is stop other people using it without your express consent. Intellectual property infringement is the general name used to cover this type of activity. As solicitors we narrow down the problem to specific wrongs such as trade mark infringement, patent infringement, copyright infringement or design right infringement.

From a legal perspective there is often some overlap. So you may find that in copying your technology someone has copied both your patent and your design right. In copying your brand another company may have used both your trade mark and passed themselves off as you. They may also have infringed your copyright. It is difficult for the man in the street to understand the differences between each act and indeed only specialist solicitors can advise. So if you’re not sure then ask an expert.

Much of our work is contentious intellectual property law. All this means is there is a dispute. The dispute could arise because of issues such as who owns the brand or technology in the first place. It isn’t always clear and it is a BIG mistake to go around simply accusing people of taking your brand or copying your design or patent without getting your facts straight. The reason for this is that the legislation contains provisions called “threats” provisions that mean that you can face Court action for wrongly accusing another party or their client of infringing your intellectual property.

An expert solicitor will help you:

  1. Identify the precise nature of your intellectual property, who owns it and what rights (if any) belonging to third parties.
  1. They will identify what belongs to you and how it has been copied.
  1. They will help draft a letter before action or cease and desist letter for you.
  1. They will research the acts you’re complaining about and identify and protect the vital evidence to prove your case.
  1. They will advise you about the different Court procedures open to you and help put together a costs budget so that you’re aware of how much it will cost to protect your rights.
  1. They will properly identify the person and / or company who is infringing your intellectual property.
  1. They will be able to help you identify criminal activity such as counterfeiting versus non criminal activity that requires civil or common law to help put right the wrongs.
  1. They will be able to help you put together a damages claim and put a value to your losses.
  1. They will be able to advise on mediation versus Court action and other types of relief such as interim and final injunctions.

It is vitally important to engage the right expert. As with everything the right expert will get the answers right first time without the need to engage a barrister or Counsel to help. This will save you time, money and costs. At Virtuoso Legal we get the answers right first time around. The vast majority of claims settle well before Court action and the reason for this is that we know exactly how to draft a letter before action or cease and desist letter in a way that will get maximum results.

If you have a problem don’t let it destroy your business or give you sleepless nights. Contact us straight away for a no obligation chat to discuss your options.

Contact Liz Ward