Intellectual property infringement
The value of your intellectual property is likely to be central to the value of your business. You need to know that you are able to protect that value either through offensive or defensive action. Infringement of your intellectual property can take many forms and its important to understand what these are and what recourse you have if a competitor infringed your IP or if you have been accused of infringing someone else’s IP.
What does intellectual property infringement mean?
Copyright infringement: Copyright will be infringed where a substantial part of a work is copied without the consent of the owner of the copyright. There are also various other acts, besides copying, that can amount to infringement where a third party does them without the consent of the copyright owner.
Trade mark infringement: A trade mark is infringed when someone, for example a competitor, uses a sign, logo or mark which is the same or similar to a registered trade mark for the same or similar goods or services.
Passing off: A passing off claim may be brought when someone passes off a business’ goods or service as their own by making a misrepresentation to the public.
Design infringement: The scope of each varies, but in general design rights can be used to protect the shape and configuration of 3D products. Design rights may be infringed if a third party copies the design of a product without the permission of the owner of that design.
Patent infringement: A patent is usually infringed if a product or method embodies or does each of the features or steps in the ‘claims’.
IP infringement claims - what recourse do I have?
Whether you think your intellectual property has been infringed or someone is accusing your of infringement it is important to take legal advice quickly so that all options for recourse can be discussed. There are various forms of recourse that have various levels of cost associated with them from sending a cease and desist letter to court action.
How our team of attorneys and solicitors can help
We can help you with the following:
- Assess the prospects of success of your intellectual property infringement claim.
- Prepare a cease and desist letter or, as appropriate, a response to any cease and desist letter, clearly setting out your position and complying with all requirements of the UK courts.
- Look into practical ways to resolve your IP dispute without court action.
- If your dispute is not resolved and goes to court, robustly presenting your case.
What if I need to go to court?
Patent, copyright, design and trade mark infringement proceedings are typically brought before either the High Court or the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC).
The IPEC is a specialist court established primarily for small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to protect their intellectual property. The IPEC aims to provide a quick, cost-effective forum to resolve non-complex disputes. Larger businesses can make use of the IPEC so long as their claims satisfy the criteria.
What is the IPEC?
The IPEC is a cost-effective forum to hear IP claims where the focus is on active case management and streamlining proceedings. The following rules apply:
- The court’s permission must be sought for disclosure, witness statements, expert evidence or cross examination of witnesses;
- The trial is limited to one or two days;
- Costs recoverable by the successful party are limited to £50,000; and
- The damages recoverable are limited to £500,000.
How we can assist with IPEC claims
IP litigation can be both technically and legally complex, and involve some of the most valuable assets of your business. Our solicitors have extensive expertise in acting in UK court cases in the High Court (Chancery Division) and the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC) across a wide range of industries and technical disciplines.
For a free consultation on 0207 269 8550 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why we are best placed to help
We are a leading UK intellectual property firm, dedicated to protecting and enforcing our clients’ IP rights. We have specialised in IP protection for over 125 years and are ranked top tier in all the UK legal directories (Chambers UK, IP Stars, Legal 500, IAM Patent 1000). Whether a large corporation or a small to medium sized enterprise, we are committed to providing only the best IP advice available.
Recommended for 'superb service and excellent value for money' in IP litigation, IP firm D Young & Co LLP attracts praise for its 'industry knowledge' and 'friendly, down-to-earth, yet very professional nature'.
They provide an excellent service – quick response times and good advice.
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We offer a free initial consultation in order to help you understand the legal and practical issues relating to your case. This will enable you to decide what action to take, with no obligation to work with us at that stage.
We are known for our clear, reliable and cost-effective advice and have many years of experience of successfully protecting and fighting for our clients' rights.