The nature of design rights has changed significantly over the last decade or more. Many businesses are consequently unaware of the importance of these very useful rights, or that they own designs which can be protected and exploited.
Designs can protect logos, clothing, household goods, fabrics, car parts and toys: a huge range of goods and their packaging. Design rights arise automatically and can also be registered for inexpensive EU-wide protection. A registered design can be protected for up to 25 years.
Copyright is equally versatile, applying to fabric designs, books, photographs, recordings, software, knitwear and many other works. There is no need to register copyright in the UK, but we will advise you if your market is in a country where registration is advisable, such as the USA.
Copyright or Design right may be available where a patent is not.
We specialise in managing design right and copyright disputes, and in the protection and exploitation of these rights.
We will help you to identify any designs or copyright works that relate to your business. These may have been created in-house, and we can provide a protection and enforcement strategy. These may have been created by a third party, in which case it is important to ensure that you own these, or that the correct licence is in place. We can provide short form re-useable agreements to businesses which regularly acquire copyright/design right works, such as fabrics or software. If you receive a claim for infringement, or believe that your design right or copyright work has been infringed, we will work with you to find the most appropriate solution from negotiation to litigation, taking into account the importance of the work to your business, cost and timing. Our in-depth experience means that we will not push you into a dispute unnecessarily, but we will manage your dispute to trial on those rare occasions where a negotiated settlement is not possible.
Patents. We are not patent agents. However, we can discuss with you whether an invention may be patentable, and we will refer you to suitable agents if necessary.