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Intellectual Property - Are you protected?

Intellectual Property - copyright, trademarks, designs, patents – is something that almost every business has but is often under-valued or ignored.

Some of the protections afforded by Intellectual Property (IP) rights are automatic and some have to be applied for in order to attract protection. Copyright is an example of an IP right which is automatic and a Trademark is an example of one which has to be applied for.

The use of a businesses’ IP by another business without permission can be both damaging to the IP right holder as well as costly. For example, if a Trademark is used without permission, this may dilute the Trademark in respect of the goods and services it is registered for, particularly if the goods or services that the mark is being applied to are of inferior quality to that of the original IP holder’s goods or service.

Unauthorised use may also be costly because the person or business using the Trademark without permission is producing revenue through the use of the mark which may otherwise be attributed to the original IP holder. Infringement of IP rights can be costly for businesses and it is often hard to identify infringement in the market place.

A business can take measures to prevent infringement of their IP rights, however, in some circumstances; all the planning and preparation in the world cannot stop an infringement from taking place. Once an infringement is discovered, the key is then acting quickly to limit any damage suffered as a result of the infringement and to take steps to notify the infringer of any intended action.

In and around Brighton there are a lot of creative businesses that have significant IP rights that are valuable to them as a business and key to their future growth in a saturated marketplace. It is key that these rights are protected and any infringement dealt with as soon as practically possible to ensure that the right holder can continue to reap the benefits of their work.

If you have discovered that your IP rights have been infringed, or you would like a discussion about how to best protect your business' IP, then please get in touch with us for an initial discussion about how we may help.

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