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Protect your intellectual property

Published: 8th January, 2016

Intellectual Property expert James Sarjantson on why Intellectual Property should be on your checklist at the outset when looking to protect for your ideas.

Protect your intellectual property

When a company develops a new product or service line, it should always consider intellectual property (IP) protection, such as:

  • patents (which protect industrially-applicable inventions);
  • trade marks (which protect signs that distinguish one trader’s goods/services from those of another);
  • copyright (which protects original artistic, literary, dramatic or musical works, etc);
  • design rights, or
  • simply keeping the invention secret.

Unfortunately, it is often not until a product is launched or becomes successful that IP protection is considered. It may be too late because:

The company does not own the IP rights – an employee does
The basic rule for most IP rights is that something created by an employee will belong to his employer, but only if it is created in the course of his employment. Check employment contracts to ensure they adequately describe the role of employees doing development work.

The company does not own the IP rights – a consultant does
Self-employed consultants will automatically own any IP rights they create, unless a written agreement between the company and them says otherwise.

The company did not keep the invention secret
Any disclosure of an invention which is not made under conditions of strict confidentiality, prior to applying for a patent, will render any subsequent patent over that invention invalid.

Call James now on 0113 201 0401 or email to arrange a call with the Intellectual Property experts at LCF Law today.

This article also appeared in Harrogate Advertiser  and the Wetherby Advertiser