Registration is often an advisable step for trade marks, designs and inventions.
Registration of a trade mark gives the owner the exclusive right to use that mark in connection with the goods or services for which it is registered or to licence it to others. The owner may also sue any person who uses the mark or a similar mark in connection with identical or similar goods or services where this is likely to cause confusion, without the need to demonstrate reputation and goodwill in relation to the mark (as required under the law of passing off). As such, it can also act as a deterrent. Registration lasts for 10 years at a time and can be renewed as many times as required.
A design may be registered to give the owner a 25-year monopoly right in the design, allowing it exclusively to make products to that design and to license it. Registration lasts for 5 years at a time.
It is possible to have unregistered design rights and trade marks, thereby savings costs, but the rights or remedies for an owner are more restricted than when registered. Copyright is not registrable in the UK.
Registration of a patent to protect an inventive process gives the owner up to 20 years protection provided the patent is renewed every year. Registration can be costly. Some types of intellectual property like software may be best protected by simply keeping them secret.
Whatever intellectual property you have created or acquired, we can advise how best to protect it, the requirements for registration and relevant procedures. We can handle the registration process on your behalf or put you in touch with or engage experienced professionals to do so. Alternatively, we can advise you in the event that you have to enforce your rights against an infringer of your IP rights.
Please contact us for further information.