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competitive rates. Our charging approach is both transparent
and geared to the options open to our clients. Our
solicitors generally charge by reference to time spent but
we can often agree fixed fees for specific work or in some
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Intellectual property infringement & registration
Intellectual property solicitors: intellectual property law: UK design, copyright, patent infringement: international trademark registration: IP specialists
Trademark registration, trademark infringement, passing off, copyright & designs, patents, database right, confidential information: Intellectual property solicitors working out of offices in Bristol UK, in London courts, we represent London, UK & international clients in all intellectual property work. Our solicitors offer commercial clients the high quality IP legal advice & representation they need in an international business world.
Intellectual property rights are vital assets for many types of commercial concern. IP and IT law is one of our core areas of practice. This introduction offers an impression of what we do for clients in the complex intellectual property field.
What is intellectual property?
Intellectual property (IP) means any patent, trademark, copyright, design right, registered design, technical or commercial information or other intellectual property (Supreme Court Act 1981, s. 72(5)). It describes the legal rights that exist in products of human creativity: inventions, designs, literary and artistic works, databases and brands. IP and industrial property are synonymous.
Intellectual property rights (IPRs) arise either automatically or on registration. Examples of the former are copyright, design right and database right. The latter include patents, registered trademarks and registered designs.
IPRs are negative although often expressed as exclusive rights. They entitle the owner to prevent others using or misusing the subject of the right.
Our solicitors represent the interests of all kinds of companies, businesspeople and professional correspondents for whom expertise and pragmatism in advice on trademarks, patents, designs, copyright, know-how, competition and trade secrets are essential requirements.
Registration, maintenance, transfer, licensing, litigation: these are all aspects of managing intellectual property in which solicitors here can supply the experience, knowledge and clarity which clients require.
The quality of our work depends upon the strengths of the solicitors within the firm - people who have confidence in their skills and those of the outside agencies they engage; people who handle issues in a financially disciplined way.
We are not a legal factory offering a mass-produced product. We find that clients prefer an independent approach. In our experience, effective personal case-handling is more likely to produce commercially sound results.
Intellectual property at a glance
- Patents, trademarks, copyright, designs and trade secrets in their national, EU and international contexts.
- Trademarks principally indicate the origin of goods or services. They can be protected in the UK through either passing off or registration. The choices for registration are a UK or a Community trade mark or international registration.
- A registered trademark may afford protection against use of the same or a similar sign for the same, similar or dissimilar goods or services.
- Patents confer monopoly rights in inventions. The invention must be new, inventive, capable of industrial application and not excluded.
- Patents must be licensed in accordance with the Block Exemption on Technology Transfer Agreements. They may be subject to compulsory licences and Crown use.
- Copyright subsists in works not ideas. Related rights include moral rights and rights in performances.
- Copyright is infringed by taking a substantial part of the claimant's work. Additional damages are available for flagrant infringements.
- Database right subsists in electronic and paper databases if a substantial investment is made in obtaining the contents.
- Designs are protected in UK law by registered and unregistered design rights. Community designs co-exist with UK designs laws.
- Trade secrets may be protected by a civil law action for breach of confidence. The information must be confidential, imparted in circumstances importing a duty of confidence and the defendant must make unauthorised use of the information.
- Intellectual property rights are generally litigated in the London High Court. A general pre-action protocol sets out the steps that parties should follow when considering litigation.
- Expert evidence can be the key to success in intellectual property cases
Fixed charge package with options and recommendations
Solicitors at Humphreys & Co. offer comprehensive support in all aspects of IP and IT law including these key areas:
Trademarks: Brand strength can be crucial to success in the marketplace. Our clients and international correspondent firms ask use to handle on their behalf: registrations, oppositions and renewals; devising and policing protection programmes; transfers of title; infringement and passing-off procedures; revocation actions and challenges to validity; as well as negotiating and documenting licence and franchise arrangements.
Inventions and know-how: Inventions are typically an apparatus, a product or a manufacturing process. Often they can be monopolised by means of patents, but by no means always. Commercial success in exploiting an idea or using know-how to create opportunities requires legal advice which is informed, well-presented and works for your business. This is the service we aim to provide.
Copyrights and designs: We have an active practice in the protection and licensing of, as well as litigation about, copyrights and designs. These rights relate to form and appearance rather than to technical principles of construction. Our lawyers handle applications for those which are registrable and advise on unregistrable rights which arise automatically.
Litigation: Good litigators make court, arbitration and mediation procedures work for their clients. They must be tenacious, flexible, able to negotiate realistically and with sensitivity to the underlying commercial issues. Good litigators are lateral thinkers with strong technical abilities. Where heavy cases require it, they work in teams but usually they know how to avoid the expense of the multi-lawyer approach.
Confidence and trade secrets: Valuable assets do not always come pre-packed. Our lawyers are used to working at the margins of intangible rights, where duties of non-disclosure fade into the public interest in commercial freedom, where hard-nosed dealing borders on shabby treatment. The ability to take a realistic view of rights and obligations arising from the communication of information is a product of experience. Humphreys & Co. has the experience clients require, whether in documenting agreements or taking injunctive action.
Competition: The demands of fierce competition in the marketplace put pressure on companies and individuals not only to perform but to succeed. The regulatory framework at national and international level exists to prevent anti-competitive practices. Our lawyers can advise on all UK and EU aspects.
Good lawyers: We offer high calibre lawyers, with expertise in the applicable areas of practice and a practical, constructive approach.
Clear communications: Solicitors here try to open up the legal process in what are technical and often difficult fields of law by giving advice and explaining options to clients in a concise and positive way, identifying clear courses of action.
Energy: The pace of change in intellectual property law and procedure is testing. We look to input not only careful legal work but also the determination to keep transactions and litigation up to speed. Solicitors at Humphreys & Co. aim to focus on the job of advancing clients' real business interest with energy and pragmatism.
Turnaround: Our lawyers use appropriate information technology to ensure that our advice and document preparation are efficient, accurate, relevant and back to clients quickly. We are located close to the UK Trade Marks, Designs and Patent office in Newport, Wales which can be cost-saving for urgent filings and time-saving for hearings.
Correspondent firms: Our solicitors are qualified in English and EU law. When advice or action under other systems of law or in other professional disciplines is needed we use the resources of suitably qualified, independent correspondent firms. We are not restricted to choosing colleagues to work with from the limited membership of a formal international association. In each case, we aim to look after clients' interests by engaging on their behalf the right professional firms at a cost appropriate for the job.
Fixed charge package with options and recommendations
Solicitors here can supply the energy and depth in intellectual property law which companies, businesspeople and correspondent firms need in a competitive world marketplace to manage their intellectual property rights successfully, including in relation to:
- joint ventures
- know-how & show-how
- licensing & franchising
- litigation, arbitration, mediation
- media & publishing
- patents (licensing, transfer & litigation)
- passing off
- technology transfer
- unfair competition
- business & company acquisitions & sales
- computer software
- confidential information
- database rights
- defamation & malicious falsehood
- designs (registered & unregistered)
- employee obligations
- EU treaty regulations
- free trade
- information technology
- music business
We take instructions from UK & international clients. Our independent lawyers are available by email, telephone & fax. With central Bristol offices we are just 90 minutes from London by road or rail and 15 minutes from Bristol International Airport. We can travel to meetings if required.
We are an independent professional law firm here, not a legal factory turning out mass-produced products. In our experience, determined case-handling is more likely to produce effective results.
Solicitors at Humphreys & Co. look to input not only
careful legal work and precision but also the determination
to keep matters moving. They aim to work in clients' real
interests with energy and pragmatism.
Solicitors at Humphreys & Co. always try to open up the
legal process by giving advice and explaining options to
clients in a concise and straightforward way, identifying
clear courses of action whatever the technical or legal
complexities of the subject.