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Intellectual Property

Copyright

Copyright is one of the most widely existing, and least often protected forms of intellectual property.

What is copyright?

Copyright is the right is to prevent anyone copying your work without your permission.

Copyright exists automatically and does not require registration. Works capable of being subject to copyright include literary works, photographs, pictures, sounds and music, three dimensional shapes and typographical arrangements. Artistic merit is not required, almost anything typed, photographed or recorded is included. All businesses will have items such as marketing material, photographs and artwork which are subject to copyright.

Who owns copyright?

The default legal position makes the creator of the work the owner of copyright rather than the person who commissioned it. This makes addressing the issue of ownership vital an early stage in almost all commercial contracts.

How to protect your copyright

Your website content, promotional material and artwork are all subject to copyright. For any business, copyright is a key asset which should be protected against infringers. Enforcement does not have to involve going to court. We take a step-by-step approach which often yields excellent results without a legal claim. If a legal claim is required there are specialist courts which can deal with disputes relatively quickly and economically, sometimes without a hearing.

We can help with

  • Identifying whether copyright exists
  • Advising on how to protect copyright
  • Advising on licensing and assignment of copyright
  • Taking action against copyright infringers
  • Defending claims of copyright infringement.

Our experience includes

  • Successful copyright infringement claims against online businesses trading in the US and UK.
  • Advising national charities on defending claims of copyright infringement.
  • Preparing licensing terms for national education and training businesses.
  • Negotiating terms for software development on behalf housing associations and registered providers.

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