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The importance of Intellectual Property (IP) to businesses cannot be underestimated, yet many businesses fail to take even the most basic steps to protect what can be one of their most valuable assets.
IP includes patents, design rights, copyright, trademarks and other ‘softer’ rights such as confidential information and know-how. Some of these rights, such as patents, require registration with the Intellectual Property Office to be protected. Trademarks and design rights can be both registered and unregistered in nature, although registration (if permissible) is always preferable as it makes enforcement of legal rights more straightforward.
Other rights, such as copyright, cannot be registered but arise immediately upon the creation of the relevant work by the author or, in the case of confidential information, by virtue of the confidential nature of the information involved and the relationship between the parties dealing with it.
We can help you identify what steps you need to take to protect your IP. Examples include ensuring that your subcontractor contracts provide for any IP the subcontractor produces on your behalf to be assigned to you, drafting confidentiality agreements or registering trademarks on your behalf.
If your Intellectual Property rights are being infringed, our Dispute Resolution team can launch legal proceedings to prevent further infringement and claim compensation for damage that may have been caused.