Infringement of trade marks and copyrights can be a criminal offence as well as being actionable in civil law. Criminal IP offences are also known as IP crime, counterfeiting and piracy. Whether you feel someone has infringed your business IP in some way, or if you are being threatened with legal action by someone who believes you have inadvertently infringed their protected business or products, please get in touch.
With the globalisation of commerce and the ability to set up a dot.com business over night, more and more businesses are turning to the internet to source products, often to save money. A parallel import is the importation of goods (that are protected by a patent or trade mark) from the country where the rights owner has already introduced the goods - meaning that the rights have been exhausted.
Owners of products covered by intellectual property rights have the exclusive right to put such products on the market. On the other hand, there is little doubt that once the owner of an intellectual property right has put such goods on the market either himself or with his consent, there is little he can do about further acts of commercial exploitation, such as re-sale, for example, on the domestic market.
If products sold or imported by third parties fall within the scope of patents, trademarks or copyrights valid in this particular country, such sale or importation by third parties is generally deemed infringing.
If you require advice concerning parallel imports, we can help. Our IP team has years of experience and are on hand to help you.
Is someone passing off your products or brand?
Your trade mark, reputation of your business and the quality of your goods and services are all valuable assets, all equally worth protecting, exploiting and enforcing. Letting others use your valuable assets may dilute or even tarnish the attractive force that you have built.
We understand the value of brands and how important it is for you and your business. We provide practical commercial solutions for your specific issue and are ready to help.
Breach of confidential information
There are a number of ways in which we can help your business protect its confidential information and trade secrets. These include working closely with our Commercial Department to draft appropriate and protective intellectual property clauses to go into employment contracts. They also include the drafting of appropriate restrictive covenants to go into an employment contract for when an employee starts employment and the enforcement of those restrictive covenants, if need be, when the employee's employment ends.
Protecting your idea or invention against unauthorised use
There are three main forms of protection for your ideas;
- Designs; and
Patents protect concepts, methods of manufacture and the way a product works.
Design registration only protects the external appearance of a project.
Copyright protects a piece of work, a piece of writing, photograph, music or a performance.
You can protect an original idea by the law of confidence and there are other forms of intellectual property rights. We can talk you through the best form of protection for you, whatever you are working on and wherever you are located whether in the UK or overseas.