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Common intellectual property disputes

Oct 25, 2018

Following our recent blog – ‘a guide to intellectual property insurance’ we thought it would be useful to summarise some of the common intellectual property disputes that as a small business you may need to look out for.

Trademark infringements

A Trademark is something unique (e.g. a word, slogan, design or symbol) that identifies a product or organisation. It is important to protect your trademark – this is something that you have to apply for and not something granted automatically.

You must also make sure you are aware of other trademarks – you can check if a similar trademark to your registered or proposed trademark exists. UK trademark searches can be carried out on the IPO website and you can also search UK trademark applications that have been accepted in the last 7 days.

Trademark infringement occurs when a third party, without permission or consent from the registered trademark owner, uses the trademark on their goods or services.

Copyright infringement

Copyright protects your work and prevents others from using it without your permission. You get copyright protection automatically and do not need to apply. It also gives the owner some exclusive rights such as the right to copy, distribute, adapt or broadcast the work.

Copyright infringement typically occurs when the work is copied or distributed without the copyright owner’s permission. For example, this could range from the seemingly innocuous act of someone giving a presentation or speech incorporating copyright video footage without acknowledging the copyright owner to the example of downloading a film or music track without paying for it.

Patent infringement

A patent is again something that you need to apply for and is especially relevant if you have a new invention. Once granted, a patent means the invention belongs to you (for a set amount of time) and gives you the right to stop others from making, using or selling the invention without your permission.

Before you file for and receive your patent make sure you keep it confidential – read this advice on patenting on gov.uk

Patent infringements are complex but occur in their most basic form when someone makes, uses or sells the patented invention without permission. Patent infringements can be costly to defend.

Design right infringement

Design right is another protection which is given automatically and will protect your design by stopping someone from copying it. The protection only covers the shape and configuration of the design and is often referred to as unregistered design right. It may be necessary to register your design to protect if further.

Design right infringement typically occurs when a third party copies or reproduces your design.

At Anthony Jones we offer Intellectual property insurance to help protect the rights and ideas of individuals. Our team of experts can work with you to determine if intellectual property insurance is right for you and your business. We are also a proud member of IPAN (Intellectual Property Awareness Network) and work together with our insurer partners and lawyers to help our customers protect themselves.

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