Company Commercial Law

Intellectual Property

Protect your hard work and enforce your ownership rights
The ownership of new creative works, an invention or a new business brand has little value if you cannot protect it. We can help you ensure that your work is protected and that your brand stays unique to you.

Why seek legal advice

Are you comfortable that your proposed or existing branding is not infringing someone else’s brand? Do you ensure your ideas are protected when pitching to clients? Do your terms and conditions prevent customers from using your intellectual property if you are not paid? There are a number of issues with intellectual property that need to be considered in the context of most commercial arrangements. We can highlight these issues and advise you on the best way forward.

  • Save time and costs
  • Protect your confidential information
  • Enforce your ownership rights
  • Understand your rights
  • Are your rights protected?
  • Make application processes simple
Intellectual property lawyer
IP solicitor

Why choose HK Law?

At HK Law we understand the importance of intellectual property to your business. With an experienced and commercially-minded team of lawyers, HK Law is primed to assist you with your intellectual property queries. At all stages of your business’ journey, we can help.

  • ‘Approved Experts’ by the Design Business Association
  • We understand business
  • We know the system
  • Experienced and commercially-minded buyers
  • Simple and clear advice
  • Network of specialist firms based overseas
Liam Voysey, HK Law

Your questions answered

Liam Voysey – Solicitor, Corporate & Commercial Law Team
  • What is copyright, and do I need to register my copyright to protect my work?
    Copyright is the right which restricts third parties from using work you have created without your permission, such as by copying, adapting, distributing, performing, displaying or putting your work on the internet. Copyright protection arises automatically when the original work is produced. There is no requirement to register copyright to secure that protection.
  • What types of works can be protected by copyright?
    Copyright applies to the following types of works:
    • Literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works (including illustration and photography);
    • Sound and music recordings;
    • Film and television recordings;
    • Broadcasts;
    • Non-literary written work (such as software, web content and databases);
    • Layout of published editions of written dramatic and musical works.
  • What is a trademark and do I need to register one to protect my brand?
    A trademark gives its owner the exclusive right to use the trademark in connection with a defined range of goods and/or services, and helps protect the brand of a business. A trademark must be registered with the Intellectual Property Office to obtain protection in the relevant class that best describes the goods or services of the business.
  • What is “passing off”?
    Passing off usually occurs by a third party using or imitating someone else’s brand or trade name, in order to gain business for themselves. This is a separate issue from trademarks – to have a claim for passing off the brand or trade name does not need to be registered. If you suspect someone is passing off their goods as yours, we can help stop this.
  • Does a UK registered trademark give me international protection?
    Trademarks are territorial rights and apply to the jurisdictions in which they are registered. Trademarks registered only at the Intellectual Property Office only give protection in the UK. Trademarks can also be registered a the European Intellectual Property Office (EU), the World Intellectual Property Office or directly at national intellectual property offices in the relevant country.
  • Another business is using a mark that is similar to my trademark. What are my options?
    Infringement of a trademark occurs if a third party uses a mark which is identical or similar to an existing trademark, in connection with identical or similar goods or services. Depending on the circumstances, the owner of the trademark may be entitled to sue for damages or obtain an injunction. We would strongly recommend that you speak to us if you believe a third party is infringing your trademark.
  • Can I protect confidential information and trade secrets?
    A business’ confidential information may be automatically protected in some circumstances. However more robust protection can come from express terms in an employment contract, confidentiality agreement, terms of business or other contracts. Disclosure of your confidential information may then entitle you to sue for damages or seek an injunction.
  • As an employer, do I own the copyright in work produced by my employees?
    The general rule is that any copyright usually remains with the author or creator of the work. In an employment setting, however it is common for the contract of employment to provide that the copyright in any works produced by an employee in the course of their employment are automatically assigned to the employer.

By Darren Francis, Associate Solicitor

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