What IP Rights can be enforced?
You may be familiar with the more common Intellectual Property rights:
Copyright protects original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic work, including illustration and photography. It also protects original non-literary written work, such as software, web content and databases.
In the UK, this right does not require registration; it arises upon creation of a work. For example, copyright will arise in the writing of a book, the taking of a photograph, the writing of software code or the recording of a film.
Registered Trade Marks encompass logos and slogans, colours and shapes. Trade marks often form an essential part of a brand, assisting commercial growth and protecting goodwill.
The registration of a trade mark gives the holder a so called ‘monopoly right’, being the exclusive use of a particular mark in connection with a specific class (or classes) of goods and/or services. The holder can enforce its rights to prevent third parties from using the same or a similar mark in connection with the same or similar classes of goods and/or services.
In the absence of a registered trade mark or design, it may be possible to protect the appearance of a brand from copying by bringing a claim for ‘Passing Off’. Passing Off protects the unique identifiers of a business, including: a colour scheme; website appearance and graphics; a name and logo.
Registered Design: You can register the look of a product you’ve designed to stop people copying or stealing it. The look of your design includes the: appearance; physical shape; configuration (or how different parts of a design are arranged together); and decoration.
Design Right: there are rights that protect your unregistered designs and stop others from using them without your permission. The shape and configuration (how the parts are arranged) of 3-dimensional objects is automatically protected in the UK for specified timescales. You get protection automatically
You can use a patent to protect your invention. It gives you the right to take legal action against anyone who makes, uses, sells or imports it without your permission. Patent protection is a specialist area of law, and it is recommended that legal advice is sought at the outset.