Intellectual property infringement: what you need to know
You might be a company whose noticed someone copying you. Or you could have received a letter claiming that you have copied someone else.
Either way, intellectual property infringement can be complex for non-legal people to understand.
At Virtuoso Legal we’ve got your back.
What kind of things does it cover?
Intellectual property covers a wide range of different intangible assets. You can read more about these here. Intellectual property includes things like: trademarks, copyright, patents, design rights and more.
Once a business has created a: technology, design, or brand; one of the most important things to do is to protect it. Protecting intellectual property means stopping other people from using it without consent. When intellectual property licensed with consent, it often makes money for its owners. Because of this; smart businesses go out of their way to protect their IP.
When IP is used without consent; this is called intellectual property infringement. This is damaging as infringers make money off businesses’ hard work without permission.
Often when infringement occurs; there is some overlap. For example, in copying your new technology and infringer may have copied a design and a patent. Or by copying your brand, an infringer may have copied a trade mark and also passed themselves off as you.
Intellectual property: don’t DIY
It is very important to make sure that you are careful in accusing others of infringement. Many areas of intellectual property legislation include “threats” provisions. These ensure those who falsely accuse others of infringement can face court action themselves. This is because false accusations (and actions that result) can really damage businesses.
Each area also has it’s own legal rules which determine what infringement is; and what occurs as a result.
If you’re being infringed, or have been accused of infringement… seek legal advice straight away. Too many people go it alone and end up putting themselves in a far more; difficult, dangerous (and costly) position.
What expert legal advice will do for you
An expert solicitor will:
1. Identify the precise nature of your IP and what rights it grants you
2. Identify what belongs to you, and what exactly has been copied
3. Write comprehensive letters before action or cease and desist letters for you
4. Research the acts you’re complaining about and identify evidence to support your case. (This is another reason why it’s important to not let infringers know you are on to them)
5. Provide information about different Court procedures open to you. Also, putting together a costs budget so you’re aware of the costs of asserting your rights
6. Correctly identify the individual or company that is infringing your intellectual property
7. Distinguish criminal (e.g. counterfeiting) with non-criminal activity that requires different processes.
8. Help you put together a damages claim and correctly value your losses
9. Advise on mediation versus Court action, helping you achieve the desired outcome
Get it right the first time around (and save time and money).
It is really important to make sure you advise the right expert. They will get the answers first time, without engaging a barrister or counsel. (This is notably a far cheaper option).
At Virtuoso Legal, we get the answers right the first time around. We have done so for the past 10 years. Our sole focus on IP means that you have experts supporting you from day one. The majority of our claims settle before Court. This is because, time and time again, we’re capable of achieving optimal results. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any more information.
To talk to our award-winning solicitors, or solve an IP problem, please call:
0113 237 9900
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