Copyright and Design Infringement
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Copyright and Design Infringement
Put at its simplest, copyright is a right to prevent copying of original material. Unlike trade marks and patents, copyright is an unregistered intellectual property right, meaning that it arises automatically upon creation of the work without a need for formal registration.
Importantly, copyright does not protect an idea, but rather the expression of that idea, particularly in the form of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works. It also protects sound recordings, films, broadcasts, cable programmes, tables or compilations, computer programs and their preparatory design material and databases.
In essence, the skill and labour invested in a creation is protected. This means that business letters, websites, company logos, advertising leaflets, photographs, manufacturing and engineering drawings, charts, plans and sales brochures can all fall within the definition of a copyright work.
Copyright allows the owner of a copyright work to control the use of its original work and to commercially exploit the work by assigning (transferring) or licensing the work. Given that copyright is an intangible right, there is much scope for dispute as to who owns a copyright work and who is entitled to exploit it. We are experts in assisting businesses and individuals in protecting their copyright works and preventing third parties from unlawfully misappropriating their hard work.
The growth of the Internet and online services and content, in particular in publishing, PR, communications and entertainment sectors, means that copyright is still a key intellectual property right of critical importance to many organisations.
We have the technical knowledge and constantly evolving experience of the new mediums through which copyright works are distributed to ensure clients receive the most commercial and cost effective advice appropriate for the sector in which they operate. We are known for fiercely defending our clients’ rights when threatened.
While we have in-depth expertise in dealing with all kinds of emergency injunctive relief, we recognise that court action will not always be appropriate and all the solicitors in our team strive wherever possible to assist clients in resolving disputes without the need for litigation. We have extensive experience of all types of alternative dispute resolution including arbitration, mediation and expert determination.
What are your design rights?
Design rights can protect a shape from being copied, whether that shape is dictated by aesthetic or purely functional reasons. A registerable design right is also a monopoly right, which allows the holder the exclusive right to stop the use of the design on any products.
Both registered and unregistered designs are useful weapons in the armory against infringers and counterfeiters, albeit in our experience they are often under-used intellectual property rights.
The multiplicity of the four types of design rights, with their overlapping protection (albeit for different periods of time) makes this a complicated area of intellectual property law, with businesses preferring to rely on more well known rights such as trade marks and copyright. Design rights can, however, offer equally effective and powerful protection. It is critical that in difficult economic times, when businesses are increasingly looking to their intellectual property rights to give them a competitive edge, clients receive focused and practical advice as to the protection and exploitation of any and all intellectual property rights available to them.
Design right infringement
A claim for the infringement of registered or unregistered design rights can be used to drive a commercial deal with an opponent. Our specialist team is expert at formulating the technical aspects of such claims so that our clients are well positioned to negotiate the resolution of disputes with infringers without it becoming necessary to resort to the cost of court proceedings.
However, if such court proceedings become necessary, we are well equipped to deal with large, complex and business critical disputes. Our lawyers are commercially focussed and our strategy is to resolve disputes quickly and effectively in-line with our clients’ business objectives.
Pannone costing model
We consider that our fee rates compare favourably with our regional and national competitors and, when appropriate, will act on a blended rate or fixed rate basis. We provide our clients with detailed budget setting out the costs of each stage of the anticipated litigation, using our bespoke costs software and with the assistance of our in-house costs analyst.
We have very strong links with specialist intellectual property chambers who we use, when necessary, to ensure our clients receive the very best commercial advice.
Intellectual property solicitors
To arrange an appointment with a solicitor in our Intellectual Property team, please fill out our enquiry form or call us on 0800 840 4929.