IP Lawyers & Intellectual Property Law

If you are looking for assistance with any intellectual property matters affecting your business, our lawyers are here to help you. We have experience in all aspects of intellectual property, 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 lawyers 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 on the one hand of rewarding innovation in any context by granting the exclusive right to exploit its results with the danger on the other hand of creating monopoly rights that stifle competition.

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.

Why Choose Lupton Fawcett?

Having advised and supported many local families, individuals and businesses, we are proud to offer clients a dedicated service from specialist solicitors who are experts in their field:

We're Award Winning

We were awarded the Legal 500 HR/Employment Law team of the year in 2017

We're Connected

We're connected to the people, businesses and infrastructure throughout Yorkshire

We Put You First

You can be sure to expect superb client service from us. Our clients are our priority

We're accredited

Recognised by leading Legal Directories Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500

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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