Intellectual property (IP) rights can often be among the most valuable assets of a business. If you're looking to expand or develop your business then IP protection is crucial. There are a number of methods of achieving this and deciding which one is most appropriate for you will depend upon the type of IP material that you are looking to safeguard. In addition, contracts for the use of IP may be needed. It's vital to have a comprehensive, clear contract in place as, amongst other things, this will provide documentary evidence of ownership should it be needed at a later stage.
To own intellectual property you must fit one or all of the following criteria:
- you are the creator (fulfilling the terms for a copyright, patent or design)
- you have purchased the IP rights
- you have a brand which is successful enough to be a trademark
Managing your IP rights with an Oratto member lawyer
Taking accurate legal advice in the early stages can strengthen and protect your case where you need it most. Oratto has been developed as an online method of linking those who need legal services with the best lawyers to suit their requirements. There are a number of solicitors featured on this page and each one is an expert in the issues surrounding IP law.
If you aren't sure of your needs then we also have a Match facility where you can provide us with your details and legal requirements and we can then match you with the most appropriate lawyer for you. Oratto makes accessing high quality legal services swift and straightforward.
Protecting valuable intellectual property can be complex and it's vital to have the correct strategies in place to prevent others from exploiting IP material through selling, reproducing, broadcasting, publishing, manufacturing or importing without the right permissions.
Depending on the type, there are a number of ways in which you can adequately protect your IP. These include by grant or registration, through contracts and ultimately by court action. Your chosen intellectual property lawyer can draw up a contract which is structured and comprehensive to make any disputes far less likely. You may need a contract for:
- joint ownership or development
- transferring ownership
- commissioning and development
Being clear from the outset and having documentary evidence as proof of ownership can help prevent difficult issues arising. Your chosen lawyer will also be able to advise you on issues such as strategic planning through acquisitions, infringement problems, managing portfolios, registration and creation. A specialist IP solicitor will carry out due diligence to establish the strength and validity of the IP rights in question.
Some IP is protected automatically, such as copyrights and design rights, but you will need to apply for trademarks, registered designs and patents. These include logos, product names, product packaging and appearance, and inventions, such as tools or recipes.
If you own intellectual property then you also have the right to sell or transfer it, between multiple owners if necessary, and it can belong to either businesses or individuals. If you're seeking IP protection that you have to apply for such as trademarks, registered designs and patents then the details should remain confidential. If you do wish to discuss the matter then your chosen lawyer can put a non-disclosure agreement in place to protect the IP before it has been registered. They can also advise you on a wider scale; an integrated cross-border method can be used to address global needs, including international brand protection and strategy.
What will be covered by my chosen lawyer?
There are many elements of IP law which go together to form protection and allow business expansion for those who use IP and those for whom it is their business. Your Oratto member lawyer will have the experience and skills to advise you on:
- brand strategy and planning
- contracts and potential exploitation
- telecoms and technology
- IP management and disputes
- trade secrets and data theft
- protection and creation
However not all subject matter will be covered by IP law and it's worth bearing in mind that the law relating to this sphere is constantly evolving as technologies develop and global markets increase.
Contact Oratto today to take the first steps towards protecting your IP rights