IP Crime and Enforcement Advice for Businesses

IP Crime and Enforcement Advice for Businesses

Copyright infringement occurs when the whole or a substantial part of a copyright work is reproduced, distributed, rented of lent, publicly performed, electronically transmitted to public communication without the authorisation of the author of said copyright work. Further information and legal advice is also available via the Citizens Advice.

Similarly, for patented products, selling or importing these products without patent owner’s permission means infringing the patent. In such cases, patent owner may take legal actions and claim damages if there is an infringement issue.

Registered designs protect the intellectual property owner from third parties who may attempt to make, offer, put on the market, import or export the design that is protected already exclusively for 25 years (provided renewal fees are paid every 5 years).

Trade mark infringement happens when a third party uses an identical or similar trademark which is already a registered mark. This is usually due to the public being led to a mistaken belief because of the similarities between the marks. It is especially important to note that if the mark is not registered previously, it is not possible to claim rights against its improper usage.

What to do when accused of infringing someone’s IP rights?

There are various ways a right holder may wish to take action against infringements such as through civil courts, mediation, the use of ‘cease and desist’ letters or by seeking an arrangement to use rights owned by others. It is important to note that the infringer maybe liable for damages relating to any proven infringement.

It is strictly recommended not to ignore any infringement notifications received via letter, email, and phone call or similar. Accused party should take time to understand the allegation and validity of the document.  Especially in case of patent and design infringement allegations, it is highly recommended to seek advice from IP attorney or solicitor as soon as possible.

 

 

 

 

 

Affordable access to justice:

  • IP Mediation: Mediation is a cheaper and quicker way of resolving disputes between parties without going through court. Mediation is usually beneficial for all parties and in case of court actions, it is expected that mediation method is tried before starting legal proceedings.
  • IP Pro Bono: This initiative provides IP advice and legal support for claimants and defendants in intellectual property disputes especially for those who cannot fund these actions on their own. This service is provided by IP organisations such as CIPA, CITMA, IPLA, IP Bar and the Law Society.
  • Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC): IPEC deals with IP disputes to enable SMEs and individuals in accessing affordable legal advice during their proceedings in search of justice. Detailed information regarding IPEC and its services can be accesses via IPEC Court guide.
  • The Copyright Tribunal: Its main purpose is to make formal judgement on disputed matters between collecting societies and users of copyright material in their business. It does not deal with copyright infringement cases or with criminal ‘piracy’ of copyright works.
  • IP investigations and prosecutions: These are usually conducted by the local Trading Standards Authorities. Individuals or organisations can conduct their own private investigations and prosecutions with the guidance of Crown Prosecution Service as well. It is important to note that individuals and companies do have the right to bring private prosecution in the criminal courts. A private prosecutor is subject to the same obligations as the public prosecuting authorities and has a duty to act fairly and independently.

Risks for Businesses

Failure to address IP rights infringement problem may leave the businesses liable and at risk to civil and/or criminal action. These actions may be in form of payment of damages as well as unlimited fines, or a custodial sentence (up to 10 years). Threats also include computer viruses and malwares.

It is important to consider not only the way business is conducted but also how the staff members behave. Their actions may create liability for the whole organisation.

It is worthwhile to go through tools such as Supply Chain Toolkit or the Trading Standards Business Companion site that may help individuals and businesses to be aware of the importance and risks involved in intellectual property rights.

 

Link to full article: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/ip-crime-and-enforcement-for-businesses/ip-crime-and-enforcement-for-businesses

Related News

US Inventor Declarations and Assignments
news

US Inventor Declarations and Assignments

After a patent application has been filed, the inventor may be required to sign and submit various forms.  What happens if this is several years into the patent process, and the inventor can no longer be reached to sign these forms?  And what can you do now to prevent any complications from arising?

UKIPO ending temporary fee changes on 31 March 2021
news

UKIPO ending temporary fee changes on 31 March 2021

The UK Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO) temporarily reduced or removed certain official fees associated with patents, trade marks and registered designs because of the disruption caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. However, the temporary fee changes are set to end on 31 March 2021.

Insurance for IP Litigation Costs
news

Insurance for IP Litigation Costs

If you own any intellectual property (IP) rights, are you concerned about your exposure to litigation, and how you will finance any legal action?  One way to address this concern is by means of an insurance policy.

Does owning IP rights improve economic performance?
news

Does owning IP rights improve economic performance?

A recent study performed by the European Patent Office (EPO) and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has shown that companies which own at least one patent, trade mark or registered design generate on average 20% higher revenues per employee and pay their staff on average 19% higher wages compared to companies that do not own any of these intellectual property (IP) rights.

Let it go!
news

Let it go!

Keeping an IP budget afloat despite sunk costs.

The cost of securing IP can be heavily front loaded. Examples of such costs include patent drafting, pre-filing searches, filing fees, etc. These costs become “sunk” costs in that they cannot be recovered. Because IP protection can be a relatively long process, at any time during the process there are likely to be significant “prospective” costs: future costs that may be wholly or partially avoided depending on actions taken.

Turkish Declarations of Use
news

Turkish Declarations of Use

Have you recently validated your European patent in Turkey?  Did you know that in addition to paying annual renewal fees, Turkish law also requires you to submit a public declaration stating whether you have actively worked your invention in Turkey?

Managing your business-critical IP during the COVID-19 crisis
news

Managing your business-critical IP during the COVID-19 crisis

UK businesses are fighting for survival during the continuing COVID-19 outbreak and trying to trade under difficult conditions, the likes of which haven’t been seen in the living memory of most business people. If you’re afraid that your business is going to the wall, it probably isn’t the top of your mind to pay for a patent application for your new technology or a registration of the trade mark for your brand new clothing range, right?  Where is the money coming from to invest in such luxuries as IP, we hear you say, when staff are being furloughed and orders have been postponed?

Videoconferencing: the future of oral proceedings at the EPO?
news

Videoconferencing: the future of oral proceedings at the EPO?

The European Patent Office has announced that videoconferencing will become the norm for oral proceedings before examination and opposition divisions until at least 15 September 2021. But is this a taste of what the future holds for oral proceedings at the EPO?

aipex logo aipex logo aipex logo