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Intellectual Property Ownership and Rewards
Establishing the rights to intellectual property (IP) can be complex, especially in cases where multiple parties were involved in the creation of a work, or someone was hired to create the work on behalf of someone else. At JMW, we are experts in advising on who the rightful owner of any IP right is, and how they can assert that right to protect their IP and prevent financial losses that might arise from its misuse.
Our team of expert intellectual property solicitors are skilled in the management, protection and exploitation of IP, providing legal advice to a range of different markets. We understand the intricacies of intellectual property law and can review documents and contracts to determine who owns a piece of IP.
How JMW Can Help
The team of intellectual property solicitors at JMW has worked with all types of businesses across the UK. From the very start of the process, we will make sure we dedicate time and effort to understand your needs and will act alongside your business to help you reach your objectives.
We will provide swift, clear and pragmatic advice about your options, timescales and costs, so you can make the best decisions for your business.
As a full-service law firm, we have resources available in other departments, such as data protection, commercial and employment law. This means we can help you to resolve issues in a variety of related fields and provide a one-stop service for your intellectual property needs.
The Ownership of Intellectual Property Rights
Intellectual property ownership is not as straightforward as the ownership of physical property, such as your home and the associated property rights. Your home will be registered with the Land Registry and, for the most part, it will be almost impossible to challenge your ownership.
IP rights are different. While there are intellectual property registers for design, trademark and patent rights, those registers are open to and often are challenged. Some examples include:
- You have been operating under a brand name for many years and someone else seeks to register your brand name as a trademark. They may well be successful, unless you object and provide enough evidence of earlier use to win the case
- You have designed a product outside of work, but your employer claims it for their own and registers it
- You have invented an innovative process, but when you pitch it to another business, they register a patent for the process
There can also be a great deal of confusion as to ownership of copyright, particularly in relation to software when third-party developers or contractors develop the code.
Furthermore, many inventors are unaware that they may be entitled to an additional ‘fair share’ reward from their employer if their invention has resulted in a patent that has generated large revenues.