Protecting your Intellectual Property

Patrick Tedstone, Commercial Litigation Specialist

Patrick Tedstone is a Commercial Litigation Specialist and runs ORJ Solicitors from its base in Stafford. Here Patrick talks about how businesses can protect their Intellectual Property.

Much of the value in a business is underpinned by its intellectual property (IP) and protecting your intellectual property is a serious matter.  But what is intellectual property and how can a business best exploit and protect it?

IP refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions, literary and artistic works, designs and symbols, names and images used in commerce.  The law will allow a business to protect a significant amount of its IP without any formal applications or procedures.  Equally surprising, the value in your intellectual property can be enhanced and protected even further at very little cost.

In this article, I focus on the value of a businesses’ brand and specifically its trademark.

Every business seeks to establish a strong reputation underpinned by set of core values; typically things like quality, innovative products, high value and service. All that your business stands for is wrapped up in its branding. This is most succinctly described in its trademark.

However, whilst  the law will recognise your businesses name and allow you to protect it without any formal registration, you must register your trademark to provide adequate commercial protection of your brand. The benefits of this have far-reaching implications; for example, if your business trades in the Midlands and a competitor opens in London using your name, considerable conflict, confusion and potential commercial loss could ensue.

Business owners often overlook the importance of protecting their brand. Yet, for less than £1000 a business could  register its  trademark giving it the monopoly right to use its name in its particular market sector across the UK and Europe. There is no need to prove the extent of your reputation or explain potential confusion.   Future expansion in the UK and further afield will be without risk, allowing the business to invest even more in its brand with complete confidence.

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