Employers are having to walk a fine line between protecting their interests whilst also ensuring that they are not breaching their employees’ rights.
Our experienced team of intellectual-property solicitors advise and support clients with all aspects of intellectual property including audits, branding advice, protection of ideas and dispute resolution.
Intellectual property refers to creations of the mind, such as literary and artistic works, designs, names and images used in commerce. It is protected by law under copyright, patents, designs and trademarks, but while some types of protection apply automatically, you will have to apply for other more complex types of protection.
Intellectual property has become an increasingly important and valuable asset for all organisations. Our specialist intellectual-property team has experience of advising organisations in all aspects of intellectual-property law. We work in partnership with organisations facing intellectual property disputes and support them through the legal process of ensuring their intellectual property is protected.
We work with you to identify your core intellectual property and to understand how it is used within your organisation. We can then advise you on strategies to protect, manage, develop and commercially exploit your intellectual-property rights.
Having the right type of intellectual property protection helps you to stop people stealing or copying:
- The names of products or brands.
- The design or look of products.
- Things your organisation writes, makes or produces.
Our intellectual property (IP) service
Our IP services include:
- IP audits - identifying your rights, how these are used and how they might be at risk.
- Technology supplier advice - finalising the standard terms and conditions you offer to customers or resellers, advising on negotiated contracts, and wider business advice such as finance, joint ventures and business sales, purchases and mergers.
- Advice for buyers of ICT - working with your team to negotiate contracts for business-critical systems or services. Contracts could include server hosting and other outsourcing, buying a new ecommerce website, service-level agreements, change controls, and buying business -management software.
- ICT risk and compliance advice - helping you build compliance and risk management into your business, with advice on website regulations, defamation, confidentiality, discrimination, consumer law, data protection and your contractual obligations.
- Branding advice - providing guidance on trademark or domain-name registrations, brand launches or re-branding exercises and preparing comprehensive enforcement strategies, including action against spite sites and internal education policies.
- Protection of ideas - advising on confidentiality agreements, registration of rights such as patents, designs and trademarks, and how to protect your unregistered rights such as copyright and database rights.
- Exploitation of your rights - preparing licences, assignments and distribution agreements of your IP rights, and recommending ways to increase royalty or other revenue streams.
- Development of your IP - advising on internal research and development, collaboration agreements and joint ventures with third parties to develop and expand your rights.
- Enforcement of your IP - preventing the infringement of your rights or resolving ownership disputes, whether by negotiation or through formal proceedings.
Provisions within the Housing and Planning Act that remove the need for housing associations (“HAs”) to obtain consent from the Regulator to dispose of social housing (as well as to merge or enter new group structures) come into force on 6 April.
Such freedoms will allow HAs greater flexibility over how they use their assets and, potentially, how they structure their businesses. Our expert panel gathered to discuss the possible opportunities the deregulatory measures offer, together with the likely hurdles. Read the outcome of their discussion here.
The sanctions against employers who knowingly or unknowingly employ individuals who do not have the correct immigration status to work in the UK are stringent.
Rebecca Read considers the implications of the decision in Donelien v Liberata UK Ltd and the employer’s obligations when determining whether a worker has a disability.
Under the Working Time Regulations (WTR) a worker is entitled to a 20 minute rest break away from their workstation if their daily working time exceeds six hours. However, there are limited circumstan
What can an employer do when its negotiations with a recognised union break down and they cannot collectively agree changes to terms?
Can an employee’s concerns raised purely out of self-interest constitute a qualifying disclosure for whistleblowing purposes?
What’s on the horizon for HR and employment law in 2018? Kate Watkins highlights key legislative changes and cases to keep an eye out for.
The Advocate General of the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) has confirmed that a 5 month gap in operations does not necessarily prevent TUPE applying.
It has been an exciting quarter, with a number of this year’s highly anticipated “key dates” fast approaching.
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