Enforcing your rights IP rights in an intellectual property dispute
Whilst there's no substitute for advice from a specialist IP solicitor, here's a short guide to the things you need to know if someone is using your IP without your permission.
What's the first step?
If your IP has been infringed, or you think it has, it’s important to take legal advice from a specialist IP lawyer as quickly as possible. The reason for this is that your lawyer will be able to advise you of your legal rights and options in order to enforce your IP. This is especially important as disclosure of your IP could render is worthless, so you may only have a limited time frame to act in order to stop this from happening.
Sometimes, a simple cease and desist letter from your solicitor can be enough to stop someone from using your IP. However, if it isn’t cut and dried as to whether or not your IP is actually being infringed, it can sometimes be less costly and time-consuming to come to some kind of agreement with the other party than to start legal proceedings.
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What other options are available?
Where it isn’t possible to reach an agreement, it may be worth considering a mediation. A mediation is run by an independent person (the mediator) who will try to help the parties reach a solution without the need to go to court. A mediation is often much quicker and less expensive than going to court.
Will you need to go to court?
Unfortunately, sometimes it simply isn’t possible to avoid going to court. Where this is the case you’ll almost certainly need legal advice on how to go about bringing an action in the court as IP is a complicated area.
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Can you stop the other party using your IP in the meantime?
Your IP lawyer will be able to advise you, where necessary, as to whether you should apply for an urgent injunction (a court order to stop a third party using your IP). As court proceedings can take months, or even years, this is especially important where you have a very short period of time to ensure your IP is not made public, thereby rendering it worthless.
As you’ll probably have realised from reading this, there is no single best way to protect against an infringement of your IP. Ultimately, how you should go about protecting your IP will generally depend on what type of IP is being infringed, its value and who is infringing it. But the good news is that a specialist IP solicitor will be able to consider your situation and advise you of the best way to protect your business.
With MyLegalAdviser you can get a range of free, no obligation quotes, from specialist IP solicitors within hours.
Simon specialises in commercial and intellectual property law, with a particular focus on IT and e-commerce. Simon’s advises his clients on a variety of commercial issues and his clients come from across the commercial spectrum, including retail, healthcare, digital marketing, technology and engineering.
Penny advises businesses at all levels from international corporations to local SMEs and start-ups on acquisitions, disposals, corporate restructuring and debt and equity financing as well as on all aspects of commercial agreements, including intellectual property licensing, supply and distribution.
Lucy has a particular expertise in the technology and manufacturing sectors. From a technology perspective, Lucy spent a number of years at Sage UK. From a manufacturing perspective, Lucy has a wealth of experience gained from supporting blue-chip clients in the rail sector.