Intellectual property

We tell you the best ways to protect your IP

How can we help you?

Intellectual property

We solve intellectual property concerns arising from registration through to generating revenues and finally the sale of intellectual property. Our clients are from many sectors with an emphasis on the tech, creative and media industries around London. We offer fixed fees which are competitive enabling you to control spend.

Intellectual property law and its uses is a rapidly developing area which offers tremendous rewards for those who can nail a good strategy. We offer a specialist team of intellectual property solicitors who will look at the business and opportunities – that type of intellect cannot be replicated by machines (so far).  We are happy to act in cases supported by intellectual property law insurance policies.

Intellectual property – how to safeguard assets

We deal with the two key aspects involved in safeguarding intellectual property:

  • Registration of intellectual property rights; and
  • Resolving intellectual property disputes and litigation.

Implications for IP ownership post Brexit

The government has announced a “great repeal bill”, which will incorporate EU regulations into UK law and allow future governments to remove or amend law at a later date.  It will only come into force on the day Britain leaves the EU.  The assurances are that ownership of intellectual property will continue with enhancements designed to bring it into the modern age.  The intention is when Britain leaves Europe there will be no legislative gaps.

Watch this space.

Registration of intellectual property rights

The best form of protection of any intellectual property is to see if it is capable of registration. By registering, you are sending out a signal of ownership to the world.  We provide the solutions to help you register your intellectual property rights and enforce those rights if a third person steals or infringes them. We focus on:

  • Design rights – We work with both companies and individual designers who are looking to register their designs and those who want to enforce their unregistered design rights.
  • Trade marks – We work with both companies and individual creators who wish to register their trade marks or resist the registration by someone else.  We also help trade mark owners wanting to bring an infringement claim.
  • Patents – We work with inventors and companies who are looking to register a patent for their product or process to gain a presence in the market. We also support clients to monetise their patent. We have a growing practice revolving around the conduct of patent infringement matters. We provide an analysis of the viability in either bringing or defending patent infringement claims.
  • Copyright – We work with clients that are looking to protect their copyright and create new revenue streams. We also help those who wish to bring a copyright infringement claim and defend those that are accused of copyright infringement.

Other forms of protection for intellectual property

There are various assets which are valuable but cannot be placed on a public register to signal ownership. Nevertheless, the assets can be protected. Examples include:

  • Trade secrets and confidential information;
  • Business plans; and
  • Data bases.

Making money from intellectual property

Usually making money involves two stages:

  • Designing the concept which requires funding; and then
  • Selling the concept which requires agreements.

Intellectual property funding

We set up the structure needed to attract investment. The government promotes investment in start up companies and has offered a variety of incentives for investors which we implement. For example:

  • If a company obtains assurance for SEIS, then the investor enjoys income tax relief of 50% and no capital gains tax on disposal.
  • If a company obtains assurance of EIS, then the investor will enjoy income tax relief of 30% as well as CGT exemption.
  • Investor relief reduces an investor’s capital gains tax liability to 10%.
  • As a shareholder who is also a director or employee, under entrepreneurs’ relief you can enjoy a reduced rate of 10% CGT.

Our clients tell us that knowing we can provide intellectual property advice in the context if the bigger picture commercial arena is helpful.

Intellectual property revenue

One way of monetising intellectual property is by licensing it to other companies and organisations through a licence agreement.  We act for both licensors and licensees. We look at the deal that you want and aim to reflect that within the licence agreement.

Joint ventures involving monetisation of intellectual property

Joint ventures are common ways of monetisation of intellectual property.  A joint venture may work where for example, one party brings the know how and another party brings the operational and marketing expertise.

Care is needed in documenting ownership if there is a risk of joint intellectual property to avoid disputes.  We look at risk areas and guide you away from dangers.

Infringement of intellectual property

We do handle infringement.  Being boutique and nimble makes us an ideal choice for infringement work as our costs are proportionate.  In practice, for good reason, most cases settle out of court.  Few clients in reality need the heavy machinery offered by large firms at heavy prices.

Bringing an intellectual property infringement case

We assess the loss to the business from the evidence available. You will get a straight forward view early on the chances of success. We find a suitable solution to your problem.  The costs of litigation mean that it is usually in your best interests to consider settlement ideas.  Settlement discussions can run on a without prejudice basis at the same time as formal litigation is commenced.

Defending an intellectual property infringement case

We will tell you if the claim has any chance of being upheld.  We first assess the merits of such threats. We then identify your best solution that prevents the initiation of proceedings. Our knowledge of case tactics built up over a great many years does work for you.

If you are faced with a cease and desist letter or an injunction we will analyse the strength of the case and deal with this for you.  A surprisingly large number of claims are totally unfounded.  We know many claims are withdrawn when the other side realise you are serious.

Intellectual property transactions

If you are selling your company or you are buying a company we can run the corporate transaction.  We have an industry focus on businesses with intellectual property forming part of the assets being transacted.   A valuable feature of our service is that we can co-ordinate tax advice which our clients find invaluable in practice.

If you are buying an intellectual property company, we will work through the steps with you. We will ensure that you get value for money.  We take care of the legal documentation covering:

  • Payment terms – you may want deferred consideration terms providing time to evaluation the real value of the business bought.
  • Assets acquired – assets range from the intellectual property, premises and employees plus many other types of assets.  We examine the risks and then draft the indemnities and warranties you need to protect yourself from a dud deal.
  • Anti competition – we look at the risk that the seller will use the proceeds of sale to set up a competing business and draft restrictions to make this less attractive for the seller.
  • Due diligence – assessment of risk starts with the due diligence which is a process we can manage for you.  We draft due diligence reports often required by banks and other financers.

When you are selling your intellectual property business, we will run the transaction for you. We represent both shareholders and the management team.  We review sale and purchase agreements and negotiate down any indemnities and warranties the buyers may unreasonably seek to impose. Our team will deal with the documentation required to sell the business.