Paper boats - the center boat flying a flag that read 'Intellectual Property' surround by six boats flying pirate flags

Protecting your intellectual property rights

Intellectual property (IP) rights, especially those that are registered such as trade marks, registered design and patents, can act as useful deterrents to third parties seeking to take advantage of your intellectual and trading efforts. However, ultimately, any intellectual property right is only as good as your ability to enforce it.

It is important to manage your IP rights in order to ensure that you are in the optimum position should you need bring or defend an infringement action. Any delay in obtaining the appropriate IP protection may result in the IP registration you seek no longer being available. Similarly, not taking action when you become aware of an infringement of your intellectual property rights may restrict your ability to enforce those rights in future.

Intellectual property litigation is complex, often with a choice of courts and sometimes a choice of jurisdictions in which to bring it.  It is important that the nuances of intellectual property law and the various rights are understood, and that any litigation is actively managed in order to ensure the best outcome for you.

For example, if faced with the threat of an infringement action it may be preferable for the prospective defendant to strike first by seeking a declaration of non-infringement or launching a challenge against the validity of the intellectual property right being asserted.

Intellectual property infringement action

It is essential to be well-prepared prior to bringing or threatening intellectual property infringement action. This includes:

  • Identifying the appropriate defendant(s); this may often include working through complex corporate structures and teasing out incriminating evidence from online clues.
  • Checking that all registered rights are registered in the name of the potential claimant.
  • Identifying any pitfalls, particularly, in the case of registered rights, such as vulnerability to a counterclaim for invalidity.

Threats of infringement proceedings can arise without warning. Careful preparation is key to an effective response, which may include:

  • Ascertaining the value of the matter at stake and tailoring an appropriate response, taking into account cost/benefit considerations.
  • Considering the validity of the rights alleged to have been infringed.
  • Gathering background information and documentation, including prior art.

Our intellectual property infringement services

We offer a full contentious and non-contentious intellectual property service, including bringing and defending infringement actions

Our team of IP specialists will work with you to ensure that everything is in the best shape it can be, before you launch proceedings or before you shape your defence. We think around the whole problem to provide tailored solutions and can work with you to reduce the cost of your IP litigation.

Infringement cases the team have worked on recently include supporting Red Bull in preventing third parties from using their branding in connection with unauthorised e-cigarette fluids.

Contact an intellectual property lawyer

Our lawyers are always happy to have a free initial chat. If you think you have an intellectual property infringement case,you can contact Roy Crozier or Susan Hall directly using the details given on their profile pages, or by calling 0800 652 8025.

Clarke Willmott has offices in Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, London, Manchester, Southampton and Taunton and we provide IP advice both to clients located within the UK and around the world.