Intellectual property (IP) rights protect the names of products, brands or logos, inventions, the design or look of products and various other things you may write, make or produce. These may not seem to have much application to the Healthcare sector beyond big pharmaceutical companies, but they can be relevant to almost all businesses, whatever their sector.
Some of these forms of protection automatically arise on creation so you will automatically get copyright protection when you create such things as:
- original artistic works (including illustrations and photographs);
- software, web content and databases; and
- recordings and broadcasts
but you will not get automatic protection for such things as:
- business or brand names which need to be registered as trademarks; and
- inventions which need to be registered as patents
in order to be protected.
However, as the value of IP is not recognised on the balance sheet it is common for its intrinsic value (and the need to protect it) to be overlooked.
It is also quite common for someone to innocently or deliberately breach someone else’s IP which may give rise to a claim being made. Some of the most common circumstances where this occurs are where someone copies another’s standard terms and conditions or where a web designer uses images on a website that belong to someone else (often Getty Images). This will often give rise to a claim being made which may cost hundreds (or thousands) of pounds to be resolved.
Our intellectual property team’s services include:
- helping you to protect your IP;
- helping you to exploit the value of your IP;
- enforcing or defending your IP rights;
- helping you to develop and protect your own website and other information technology; and
- advising in relation to the creation and/or acquisition of software, computers and IT systems.