Intellectual Property Solicitors & Intellectual Property Law

The Intellectual Property Solicitors at Lupton Fawcett advise businesses and individuals on how to identify, protect and capitalise on the intellectual property they have developed within brands, products, inventions, ideas, designs, and creative works.

If you are looking for legal advice with any intellectual property matters affecting your business, our Intellectual Property Solicitors are here to help you. We have experience in all aspects of IP law, so we know what it takes to keep your interests guarded.

Contact us today by calling 0333 323 5292 or fill in our enquiry form on this page and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

With offices in Leeds, Sheffield and York, we are able to provide assistance to many individuals and businesses across Yorkshire and the rest of the UK.

Do I Work With Intellectual Property?

Not sure if you are in the intellectual property business? We bet you are because any company that does the following is in the intellectual property business:

  • Owns or exploits a brand
  • Creates new products, services or designs
  • Deals in branded or original products, materials or services
  • Creates original work of any kind
  • Gathers, holds or uses valuable data
  • Conducts research or development of any kind
  • Creates, develops or exploits ideas or knowledge
  • Is part of the technology, creative, digital or knowledge economies
  • Is in any way creative, inventive or innovative

So What is Intellectual Property?

Intellectual property is the general name given to the various areas of the law that regulate the existence, ownership, exploitation and enforcement of rights in the output of any kind of original work in any form.

Strictly speaking, there is no area of law called intellectual property. It is a phrase used as shorthand to describe a number of different areas of the law concerned with the rights innovation and creativity can attract. These areas include:

Intellectual property is valuable yet complex. Valuable intellectual rights can easily be lost without expert advice. When issues arise, they are rarely trivial or run of the mill. They can affect your very ability to trade and can cause immense anguish, cost and risk if they go wrong.

This is an area for real expert advice. Don’t believe those who tell you that all lawyers are more or less interchangeable and that expertise can be taken for granted. Our team’s experience and depth of knowledge can offer you technical expertise, commercial nous, and the ability to grasp detail but not get bogged down in it, so you can get ‘top draw’ legal expertise, with clear, commercial advice that minimises your risk and maximises value to your business.

The Team

At Lupton Fawcett, we have a team of Intellectual Property Solicitors with over 50 years’ combined experience in advising clients of all kinds, from startups to major PLCs, on all aspects of intellectual property. They advise on the constructive aspects of creation, protection and exploitation of rights, as well as on defending and enforcing those rights when necessary.

  • Through its in-house capability and, where necessary, using its network of specialist partner organisations, the team can provide a complete solution for the registration of your rights throughout the world.
  • The team drafts and negotiates the full range of agreements businesses enter into over intellectual property, including assignments, licences, commissioning agreements, research and development agreements, merchandising, sponsorship and franchising agreements, and other agreements in which intellectual property plays a part including agency and distribution.
  • The team helps clients conduct the full range of disputes that arise over ownership and enforcement of intellectual property rights, whether involving intellectual property registries, courts or tribunals. We are experts in court processes and alternative dispute resolution and mediation.

The team’s expertise has been recognised in major independent guides to the legal profession such as Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500. They also have an extensive record of major books and online publications for use by other practitioners, students and academics – giving the advice they give you an authority that sets them apart from the competition.

Specific Industries

Because practising as an Intellectual Property Lawyer leads to close involvement with certain industries for which it is a main area of focus, team members have specialised knowledge of the legal, regulatory and commercial challenges faced in those industries. This includes:

  • Arts and the media
  • Precision engineering
  • Retail brands
  • Sport and leisure
  • Charities and third sector organisations
  • Software and digital
  • Cloud computing, IaaS, PaaS and SaaS
  • Creative agencies

Reputation Management

Much of intellectual property work in the context of brands is about maintaining reputation, whether in helping to secure the fullest possible rights to the brand or in preserving the integrity of the brand against infringers.

To those elements of our work we add the capability to act for both businesses and individuals to protect reputation in any context, or to defend themselves from attack, using the full range of available legal tools from the law of defamation and malicious falsehood to contractual rights, confidentiality, privacy and intellectual property rights.

In today’s world of online publications, multimedia platforms and social media, the defence of reputation is a truly multi-disciplinary task which our team is uniquely well placed to undertake.

Competition Law

The roots of intellectual property law lie in the attempt by lawmakers to reconcile the value of rewarding innovation in any context, by granting the exclusive right to exploit its results on the one hand, with the danger of creating monopoly rights that stifle competition on the other.

Competition law works in a different way to ensure that businesses do not act in a way that is intended to restrict fair competition in the market or to create cartels or monopolies that distort or prevent fair trade and compromise the rights of consumers.

Competition law and intellectual property law have therefore always been closely connected. We have the expertise and long experience in UK and European competition law to make sure you manage effectively the risk of infringing these laws.

Contact Us Today

Lupton Fawcett are a leading personal and commercial law firm in Yorkshire with well-established offices of highly experienced solicitors in Leeds, Sheffield and York.

We provide a personalised service, with sector specialists and extensive resources to ensure we are giving you the best solutions to your problems.

Our Intellectual Property Solicitors act regularly for clients across the United Kingdom including Bradford, Birmingham, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Sheffield, York and Nottingham.  We also provide specialist niche legal and commercial services for Irish companies wishing to do business in the UK and legal advice for UK companies trading in the  Republic of Ireland

As recognised IP Solicitors we can support your needs wherever you live in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland.

Lupton Fawcett‘s intellectual property team is helpful and professional.

Legal 500 2019

Clive Lawrence has impressive knowledge and experience, is very professional and provides an excellent service

Legal 500 2019

John, described as very personable and very good, is highly respected in the market for his multi-faceted IP practice.

Chambers and Partners 2019

Clients appreciate the fantastic service and trusted advice. The team is always available for us whatever our query.

Chambers and Partners 2019

They are friendly and responsive. They are a good commercial firm that appreciates our requirements.

Chambers and Partners 2019

Thank you for helping us when we found that our new product was being copied. Your knowledge of the law and astute tactics and strategy using the court process enabled us to stop the copying, recover costs and damages. Top drawer advice and a great result for us. We are very pleased with the outcome.

Stephen Greenhalgh, Managing Director


I just wanted to thank you for help. The issue was a serious one for us as it may have caused embarrassment and potential liability in our supply chain. Your wise counsel, in-depth knowledge of trademark law, and firm but commercial approach enabled us to resolve this matter both quickly and successfully and avoiding any liability for us and our business partners. Achieving an amicable settlement was a real success and we are delighted with the outcome.

Steve Walton, Finance Director

De Ree UK

I have worked with John for a number of years and can say that he personifies a rare mix of an excellent legal technician and pragmatic, commercially astute businessman. John is a consummate diplomat, having the knowledge and experience to read a situation to perfection, and to use the appropriate force for the circumstances in hand. Many years ago I was on the opposite side to John in a hard-fought contentious matter. It was a very uncomfortable place to be. I can trust John to deliver when called upon. I therefore have absolutely no hesitation in recommending John.

Ann Critchell-Ward

VP Intellectual Property, TomTom

I found John Sykes to be a skilful lawyer, commercially astute, dedicated and hard working, with good judgement, combined with detailed knowledge of - for us - copyright law, he did a good job for us, managed the team well on the case, and I would recommend him without hesitation

Simon Enoch

"absolutely superb" "...doyen of IP" "a specialist who truly knows his IP" "Pioneering..." "effective communicator", his "accurate, common-sense approach makes him a favourite with clients" "advice is always clear and commercial", and "he gives you the robust guidance needed to help you make a proper decision." "absolutely on the ball." "offers a personalised service that is spot on."

The Legal 500 UK

Clive Lawrence, who heads Lupton Fawcett's Intellectual Property department, is diligent , handles the details well and easily gets to the root of the problem and finds the most desired solution

Legal 500, November 2018

Well-written, incisive and informative, Brands: Law, Practice and Precedents is vital reading for intellectual property, commercial and media lawyers, as well as advertising and marketing consultancies, design agencies and brand managers in major companies

The Inhouse Lawyer Magazine on “Brands: Law, Practice and Precedents” (Jordan Publishing Ltd 2008)

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use the trade mark notice ™ on my marketing and advertising materials and packaging even if I have not registered my brands?

Yes.  The trade mark notice ™ indicates that your brand, whether it is a word, series of words, symbol or logo is being used by you as a trade mark and you should use the trade mark notice to maximise your protection.

If I apply for a Community Trade Mark and there is a problem in one country which means that I cannot or do not want to proceed in that country can I still get a registration for the rest of the EU?

No. A Community Trade Mark application is for all or nothing. If you have a problem in one or more member state of the EU you will lose the application and will need to start again by applying in each member state in which you want protection.

If I have sold my branded goods in the EU can I stop them from being resold by one of my customers via particular distribution channels such as discount shops or on eBay?

It depends! Generally it is not possible to prevent how your products are dealt with once they are sold in the EU. If you can show that you have a valid reason for managing your distribution channels and have in place an active distribution channels policy then it may be possible. This is a complicated area of the law and it may be worth you having a conversation with one of our lawyers to explore your options.

If I have already sold my product can I still apply for registered design protection?

Yes you have 12 months from the first sale or marketing of a new product to get registered design protection.

If I have no registered design protection and a competitor is copying my designs can I stop them?

You may be able to stop them if your design is less than 10 years old and is not a commonplace design. This is a complicated area of law and requires careful consideration. John Sykes has just updated his reference book for lawyers on Design Law and John, or one of the team would be happy to advise you.

Be careful because making a threat to a competitor may be grounds for the competitor to bring proceedings against you for “groundless threats”. A threat would include making a complaint to eBay or Amazon to take your competitor’s products off sale.

I have shown my invention to my friends in the pub and they think I should get patent protection for it. Can I get a patent?

Not unless:

  • your friends were bound by terms of confidentiality because you cannot get patent protection for an invention which has been disclosed AND
  • your invention is new AND
  • your invention is capable of industrial application

If you want to show your ideas to third parties whether friends or potential customers or manufacturers you MUST HAVE A CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENT in place.  If the answers to the above questions are all “yes” then speak to us about getting patent protection.

I told my friend to keep my idea for an invention secret. I think he is working on building a business to exploit it. Can I stop him?

Only if you have a patent application in place which successfully proceeds to grant or he has copied an original material work you created or own. So, for example, if you built a prototype or created drawings of your invention and your friend has copied these.

You could issue proceedings for breach of confidence but this is a difficult claim to bring if there is only your word against his and he may not be “good for the money” and/or you do not want to spend the monies required on legal action to get an injunction and any other legal remedies to which you may be entitled.

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