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Intellectual Property

Intellectual property

Intellectual Property

Our team regularly works with clients on the protection, exploitation and enforcement of intellectual property rights. These rights include copyright, designs, trade marks and unregistered rights (such as rights in relation to the look and feel of a client’s products).

We advise businesses on contentious and non-contentious intellectual property and advertising related issues, from independent brands to global businesses. The intellectual property expertise that we bring to clients is often in the context of reputation management issues, particularly in the area of trade marks and advertising law.

We get involved at all of the different stages of clients’ dealings with intellectual property rights: from creation of those rights through to enforcement.

In working with clients, we start by looking at their objectives, adapting a strategy to suit those objectives. In devising strategy, we take into account our considerable experiences of how parties involved are likely to approach the issues. We will adapt the best solution to achieve your outcomes, using creative approaches with an eye to the bigger picture.

We pride ourselves on staying abreast of new technologies, taking time to consider the impact those technologies will have on intellectual property rights, brand and reputation. In doing so, we also consider how those technologies can be harnessed for our clients’ benefit.

How can we help?

These are the sort of issues we regularly assist clients with:

  • Carrying out an audit of clients’ intellectual property rights and the rights that they use in the course of their business;
  • Working with trusted trade mark agents to ensure that the client has suitable registered protection in place;
  • Pre-publication on advertising campaigns, in particular, the clearance of rights, compliance with advertising legislation and codes of practice, advising on the legality of comparative advertising;
  • Advising on the ownership of intellectual property rights created in the course of a client’s business, whether that be in the context of employment contracts or otherwise;
  • Drafting and negotiating relevant licensing, merchandising and intellectual property assignment documentation;
  • Advising on removal of infringing content from social media platforms and other issues relating to liability for, and moderation of, user-generated content;
  • Enforcing intellectual property rights in cases of infringement, whether by way of correspondence or via the courts;
  • Defending permitted use or alleged use of third party intellectual property rights;
  • Making and responding to complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority;
  • Devising a strategy with the client across jurisdictions to achieve the outcome that the client needs;
  • Executing the strategy, undertaking the necessary legal steps and overseeing the delivery of the objectives;
  • Learning lessons of the incident that occurred, taking steps to avoid repetition and putting in place systems to monitor for similar risk.

Recent examples of our IP work:

  • Advising a well-known independent clothing label in relation to an intellectual property dispute with a global retailer. Asserting relevant intellectual property rights in correspondence and negotiating a favourable settlement;
  • Drafting and negotiating an assignment of the copyright in photographs taken of the interior and exterior of a sports personality’s house prior to it becoming his home. Relying on that copyright to prevent the publication by newspapers of images of the client’s home;
  • Advising on the ownership of the copyright in certain photographs created by a well-known deceased photographer in the context of a dispute;
  • Advising a charitable trust in relation to the licensing of its name for use on the packaging of consumable goods;
  • Assisting in the clearance of rights for a televised memorial service. Drafting a suite of documents, ensuring that all relevant rights were cleared before broadcast. Preparing documentation that was accessible and easily understandable to a large number of contributors;
  • Advising a toy retailer on legal issues relating to the import of products bearing its trade mark from outside the European Union;
  • Advising on the legality of territorial restrictions set out in a series of agreements between art dealers;
  • Advising a charitable trust on the licensing of its name for use in relation to consumable goods.