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Intellectual property (IP) is a valuable asset to any business. In an increasingly innovative and competitive business environment, it is vital to have a good understanding of how to protect, defend and enforce your IP rights, including your brand, product design and inventions. Understanding your own  IP rights means you can safeguard your position in the marketplace and effectively plan for future growth.

If you find that your IP rights are being infringed, it’s important to consider taking action quickly. On top of the financial remedies, there are also others of real value. The key remedy being to prevent the infringer from continuing to carry out the infringing acts. Delivery up to you of the infringing material/articles means that you can ensure that they do not somehow find their way back onto the market.

Before you threaten any action, you need to identify the IP rights that exist, be sure that you own them and be satisfied that they are infringed. It’s dangerous to threaten to bring infringement action before you have assessed this, or if you have a very weak case. If you make groundless threats, the person/business you threaten may then have the right to sue you for damages!

The key to enforcing your IP is to know what rights you have. Even if you don’t own a registered trade mark, design or patent, there are other rights that you may be able to rely on, such as passing off rights, unregistered design rights and copyright. Whilst  registered IP can be easier to enforce in some scenarios, you shouldn’t forget about these other rights as they can often form a strong basis to prevent infringers benefiting from the investment you have made in your products and services.

Ensuring you have IP protection, and importantly in the right form, can mean you are able to prevent infringers or other businesses copying your products and brands. There have been numerous cases involving high profile businesses where the outcome has turned on the IP protection in place. You may have heard about the successful case by Charlotte Tilbury against Aldi’s cosmetics product where the company was able to rely on copyright protection; in contrast, however, Moroccan Oil failed to stop the sale by Aldi of a hair product based on passing off. Or where Trunki was not able to stop the sale of the animal Kiddee case because of the form of the registered designs it had chosen to protect. These cases highlight the importance of understanding how IP protection works and ensuring you seek guidance prior to putting registered protection in place.

Come along to our masterclass to learn about IP from the specialists at Clarion. The masterclass will enable you to develop an understanding of IP in its various forms, how it relates to your business and the importance of protection.

You will gain practical knowledge and skills you can apply to your business environment and understand when to seek professional advice.