Ackroyd Legal is a leading London law firm, with a team of expert solicitors specialising in all aspects of intellectual property law.
Their specialist solicitors who hold many years’ combined experience in looking after the interests of business and high net worth clients, will help you to understand the complex laws and regulations that affect the day to day running of your business and personal affairs.
Intellectual Property Rights
Property is not just about bricks and mortar. When you have created something original (although perhaps intangible) that is your own work, this is intellectual property (IP), The law of intellectual property is designed to protect the property rights of original, often less-tangible creations, such as literature, fictional characters, designs and original artwork.
Our digital brand protection and recovery service will look at your individual case and will help you to identify your intellectual property rights, ensure that these are protected and enable you to profit from what you have created or developed.
Cases that involve special elements of creativity will naturally benefit from a creative approach to IP management and representation. Our intellectual property solicitors have many years experience in this area and will work with you and help you develop and increase profitability – and prevent others from taking advantage of your work without paying what you are due.
We fully appreciate that every case is unique, and we will provide tailored advice and guidance according to your individual situation. Our IP specialists have many years’ combined experience in protecting clients’ interests and provide a full range of services, including:
Copyright law protects original works and prohibits other people from using your work without permission. Copyright is an automatic right and does not need to be registered. You can mark the piece of work with the copyright symbol © and the year it was created, although this is not a requirement for obtaining or asserting copyright. Copyright can be a valuable asset, as it can allow the creator of a piece of work to make a profit and earn a living.
Copyright can apply to any of the following original creations:
Copyright protection will come into force as soon as the work is created, however the material can be copied and reused after the copyright has expired. For literary, artistic, musical and film works, the copyright will last for 70 years. For design layouts, this reduces to 25 years.
Copyright prevents other people from doing any of the following without permission:
Copyright enables the creator to control how their work is used and can provide the opportunity to profit from it. You can license your work by entering into a contract that authorises someone else to use it. A license sets out what can legitimately be done with the piece of work, along with any restrictions.
There are many options when it comes to licensing your work, for example an exclusive license bars anyone but the licensee from using the work, including the copyright owner. A license could also be implied, with nothing actually put in writing, however in practice it is always advisable to formalise the arrangements in case a dispute arises later on.
It is important to seek legal advice when you are entering into any form of contract, as this will be legally binding upon both parties.
It is also possible to enter into a contract for the sale of your copyright, or for its marketing; for example to give someone else the authority to develop your creation. Because copyright can be such a valuable asset, it is important to ensure that your interests are always protected.
If your copyright is breached and someone else has used or profited from your work without a license or agreement, this may give rise to a civil action for infringement of copyright.
A trade mark should be registered in order to protect a brand, and could include the name of a product, brand or service as well as any associated artwork, such as the unique logo. A trade mark is a business asset in itself, because its ownership will enable the holder to sell and license the brand, and to take legal action against anyone else who uses the mark without permission.
There are a number of requirements that must be met in order for a trade mark to be registered, and our intellectual property specialists at will be able to handle this process on your behalf.
A trade mark must be unique, and may consist of words, colours, sounds or logos. It must not be offensive, nor may it resemble state symbols, such as national flags.
Once the trade mark has been registered, the ®symbol can be inserted against it, to confirm ownership.
There is a database of trademarks, and we can arrange for the relevant searches to be carried out to ensure that your proposed trade mark (or something similar) is not already registered to someone else relating to a similar service. In the event of a clash, we can request a letter of consent on your behalf from the other registered owner, and this would need to be submitted with your application.