Intellectual Property Law
Intellectual property law concerns the ownership and protection of intangible assets such as ideas,
inventions, trading names, and creative works. This body of law has been developed to safeguard such
property by conferring rights on its owners, authors and inventors.
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A patent is a monopoly right that allows an inventor to protect a product or process for, usually, up to 20 years. In return for this monopoly right, the invention must be published in the public domain.
Copyright is a right that arises automatically when a new creative work is made. The creative work has to be a work in which copyright can subsist (apply), for example, artistic works, typographical arrangements, films, and sound recordings. Copyright provides the owner with protection from others exploiting the work without permission; however, the duration of protection varies by the type of copyright work.
A trademark is a name, logo, or sound that is registered and can distinguish your brand or product from other brands or products. There are a range of minimum legal requirements in order for a distinguishing mark to be registered as a trademark. The registration of a trademark provides its owner with the legal protections to prevent others from using the mark.
Passing off occurs when damage is caused to the reputation or "goodwill" of someone's product or brand as a result of "misrepresentation" by another. Goodwill is the value that customers see in a brand. To establish goodwill in your brand in the UK, you must have sold your products or services to customers in the UK such that consumers think of your product when they see your brand.
Domain Name Rights
Registering a domain name from a registrar allows you to use that domain name for the duration of your agreement with the registrar. You can prevent others from using the exact same domain name and dispute highly similar domain names.
This is a common law duty where information "with the necessary quality of confidence" is restricted from being disclosed without the consent of the person who disclosed it; if it was disclosed in circumstances importing an obligation of confidence. Confidentiality can be contractually agreed in the form of non-disclosure agreements.
The design right automatically comes about to protect the shape and configuration of an object, to stop other people from copying it for a period of 10 or 15 years. Design can be registered for better protections.