The intellectual property owned by your business is likely to be one of its most valuable assets. While some IP rights arise automatically, others require registration to ensure that your business has the benefit of full legal protection.
Copyright is an automatic right which protects your original ideas from unauthorised use. The length of protection you will receive varies, depending on the nature of your idea, but the majority of copyright works are protected for the lifetime of the creator and for several decades thereafter. Similarly, an automatic right arises where you have made a substantial investment in creating a database of information. Such investment can be financial, technical or by the allocation of human resources. You will gain protection for 15 years from the creation of the database and, during this time, will be able to prevent unauthorised use of any substantial part of your data.
Where your idea is a product design, automatic protection arises when your design is both original and three-dimensional (two-dimensional designs are not automatically protected). This protection can last for up to 10 years from the date products made from your design are advertised for sale. Should you require greater protection for your designs, you can apply to register your original product design with the Intellectual Property Office. Such registration lasts for an initial period of 5 years but can be renewed periodically for up to 25 years. Registering your design rights will ensure that you are in a position to control products containing your design from manufacture to sale.
Blaser Mills’ solicitors have extensive knowledge of IP law and can:-
- Advise you in relation to automatic IP rights, including whether you are legally protected and, if so, for how long
- Advise you on potential considerations when seeking to register a design right
- Assist with renewing your design right registration
- Contest any unauthorised use of your IP rights
- Assist you in resolving IP disputes