Intellectual Property Disputes: Protecting Your Rights

What is intellectual property?

Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions, literary and artistic works, symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce. Examples of intellectual property include patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets.

These are legal rights that allow the owner to control the use and distribution of their creations and to prevent others from using them without permission. Intellectual property is an important aspect of many industries, including technology, entertainment, and pharmaceuticals, and protecting it is essential for fostering innovation and creativity.

If you have suffered an intellectual property (IP) infringement, you may wish to take legal action to protect your IP assets.

Intellectual property disputes

There are several types of intellectual property (IP) disputes that may arise in the UK, including:

  • Patent disputes: Patent disputes and patent infringements cases arise when two or more parties claim ownership or use of a patent, which is a legal right granted to inventors to exclude others from making, using, or selling their invention without permission.
  • Trademark disputes: Trade mark disputes arise when two or more parties claim ownership or infringement of a trademark, which is a recognisable sign, design, or expression used to identify and distinguish the goods or services of one company from those of another.
  • Copyright disputes: These occur when two or more parties claim ownership or infringement of a copyright, which is a legal right that protects original literary, artistic, or musical works. To find out more about protecting your assets from copyright infringers, speak to a solicitor on our panel today.
  • Design disputes: These arise when two or more parties claim ownership or infringement of a registered design, which is a legal right that protects the visual appearance of a product.
  • Trade secret disputes: These occur when two or more parties claim ownership or theft of confidential information or trade secrets, which are valuable pieces of information that give a company a competitive advantage.
  • Domain name disputes: These arise when two or more parties claim ownership or infringement of a domain name, which is a unique identifier for a website or online presence.

It is important to note that IP disputes can be complex and involve multiple legal issues. It is essential to seek the advice of a solicitor with experience in IP law if you are involved in an IP dispute.

How to resolve an intellectual property dispute

Intellectual property disputes can be complex and may require legal intervention to resolve. However, there are some steps you can take to try to resolve the dispute before seeking legal help. Here are some suggestions:

  • Communicate with the other party: The first step is to try and communicate with the other party involved in the dispute. This can help to clarify any misunderstandings and potentially resolve the issue. Be clear and specific about the nature of the dispute and what you believe is at stake.
  • Review the relevant agreements: If you have a prior agreement with the other party, such as a contract or licensing agreement, review the terms of the agreement to determine if there are any provisions that address the issue in dispute.
  • Consider alternative dispute resolution: Mediation or arbitration can be a faster and less expensive way to resolve disputes compared to going to court. A neutral third-party mediator or arbitrator can help facilitate a resolution between the parties.
  • Seek legal advice: If the dispute cannot be resolved through communication, mediation, or arbitration, it may be necessary to seek legal advice. An intellectual property solicitor can help you understand your rights, assess the strength of your case, and provide guidance on how to proceed.
  • Consider litigation: If all other options have been exhausted, litigation may be necessary to resolve the dispute. This can be a lengthy and expensive process, so it’s important to carefully consider your options before pursuing this route.

Remember, it’s always best to seek legal advice before taking any action that could have legal consequences. An experienced attorney can help guide you through the process and protect your rights.

Remedies for intellectual property disputes

The remedies available for an intellectual property dispute will depend on the specific type of intellectual property involved and the nature of the dispute. Here are some common remedies that may be available:

  • Injunction: An injunction is a court order that requires the other party to stop engaging in the activity that is causing the dispute. For example, an injunction could prevent the other party from using your trademark or selling your copyrighted material.
  • Damages: Damages are monetary compensation that may be awarded to the injured party in a lawsuit. This compensation may be designed to compensate for lost profits or other damages suffered as a result of the intellectual property dispute.
  • Account of profits: If the other party has made a profit as a result of the disputed intellectual property, an account of profits may be awarded. This remedy requires the other party to account for and turn over any profits made from the infringing activity.
  • Statutory damages: In some cases, statutory damages may be available. This remedy is typically used in cases involving copyright infringement and allows the injured party to recover a predetermined amount of damages without having to prove actual damages suffered.
  • Royalties: In some cases, the parties may be able to negotiate a licensing agreement that allows the other party to use the intellectual property in exchange for paying royalties to the owner.

It’s important to remember that the remedies available for an intellectual property dispute will vary depending on the specific situation. It’s always best to seek the advice of an experienced intellectual property solicitor to understand the available remedies and determine the best course of action.

How can a solicitor from our panel assist?

Expert Commercial Law have a panel of experienced intellectual property solicitors with a track record of success in these types of cases. A solicitor from our panel can be invaluable in helping with an intellectual property dispute in the following ways:

  • Advice and guidance: An experienced solicitor can provide advice and guidance on the best course of action to take in an intellectual property dispute. They can help you understand your rights and obligations under the law and advise you on the merits of your case.
  • Negotiation: A solicitor can assist with negotiation with the other party involved in the dispute. They can help you to formulate and present your position, and can work towards a resolution that is acceptable to both parties.
  • Mediation and arbitration: A solicitor can also represent you in mediation or arbitration proceedings. This can be a faster and less expensive way to resolve disputes compared to going to court.
  • Litigation: If all other options have been exhausted, a solicitor can represent you in court proceedings. They can help you prepare your case and present it to the court, and can work to achieve the best possible outcome for you.
  • Protection of intellectual property rights: A solicitor can also help to protect your intellectual property rights by ensuring that your patents, trademarks, and copyrights are registered with the Intellectual Property Office and enforced.

Our solicitors also help with commercial claims, such as breach of contract and CCJ removal

Please note, we are not a firm of solicitors; however, we maintain a panel of trusted and regulated high profile legal experts. If you contact us in relation to a commercial law case, we will pass your case onto a panel firm in return for a fee from our panel firms. We will never charge you for passing on your case to a panel firm. 

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Please note, we are not a firm of solicitors; however, we maintain a panel of trusted and regulated legal experts. If you contact us in relation to a commercial law case, we will pass your case onto a panel firm in return for a fee from our panel firms. We will never charge you for passing on your case to a panel firm. 

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