Utilising the help of an intellectual property lawyer

An intellectual property lawyer will assist with ensuring that your rights to things you have created are protected, and enforcing your rights against anyone that breaches this intellectual property protection.

Who needs an intellectual property lawyer?

Not only does intellectual property law significantly affect certain members of the creative and scientific industries, but it can also cause problems for many others who simply create or generate content that affords itself an intellectual property right.

Intellectual property comprises mainly the rights of:

  • Copyright
  • Trademarks
  • Design rights
  • Patents

Possessing any of these is a crucial business asset and so not only needs to be safeguarded but exploited well for remuneration. As there are several different types of intellectual property rights, and several ways in which they can be used or attained, it may be hard to find the right solicitor.

There are a vast number of intellectual property lawyers throughout the UK, all of varying sizes. Many City firms, who work mainly for large corporations, will have an intellectual property department but they may only deal with one type of right, such as trademarks. However, there are also specialist intellectual property law firms who offer a much more thorough legal service for individuals and businesses alike.

How do I protect my invention?

An invention will usually be protected by a patent. Your intellectual property lawyer can help with the application for a patent, including:

  • Filling in the required form
  • Writing an abstract about your invention
  • Ensuring that you submit any necessary drawings with your application

Patent applications can be costly and time-consuming and it is worthwhile instructing a solicitor to ensure it is not more time-consuming and costly than necessary.

Another type of intellectual property is that of a trademark. A trademark protects something that people associate with a product, like the Nike tick, for example. When applying to have a trademark registered you should instruct an intellectual property lawyer to check:

  • Whether your trademark is already registered
  • If it is your lawyer may be able to attempt to buy the trademark
  • You may have to rethink the mark

Your lawyer can also give you advice about your trademark in other countries - registering the trademark in the UK will not automatically give you protection in other countries.

Other methods of protecting your intellectual property rights are copyrights - for music and artistic works - and designs which protect the outward shape or decorative features of a product.

Intellectual property rights are valuable assets and must be treated with great regard. If you are faced with infringement issues or even just curious about assigning and licensing your rights, instructing a bespoke intellectual property law firm that suits your needs is a wise move.

More general advice on this area of law, see our information page on IP.

Call us for free on 0800 533 5787 or use the web-form to the right to speak to an advisor who can put you in touch with the right solicitor for your needs.