Everybody has seen the FACT advert before watching a movie "You wouldn't steal a car". However, despite the popularity (notoriety?) of this advert infringement of IP rights remains a relatively poorly understood area of law. This is somewhat understandable. IP rights (Patents, Designs, Trade marks and copyright) are specialist areas, and obtaining the rights can be complicated and time consuming. Enforcement of those rights is even more so.
Thankfully the Intellectual Property Office has some resources to help you know what to do and when if you think somebody is infringing your rights or accuses you of infringing their's.
If you need further information about Patent, Design or Trademark rights, Boult Wade Tennant LLP is here to help. If you are already a client please reach out to your normal advisor. If not, please take a look at our website to work out which team is best suited to meet your needs.
IP rights are infringed when a product, creation or invention protected by IP laws are exploited, copied or otherwise used without the permission or consent of the person who owns those rights or their representative. It can range from using technology protected by a patent to selling counterfeit medicines/software, copying a film and making it available online to selling counterfeit goods including clothing, makeup, and DVDs. All of these acts will constitute a civil infringement. However, in the case of trade marks, designs and copyright the act may also constitute a criminal offence if conducted in the course of a business.