Find out how to identify, secure, and defend your business’s valuable intellectual property
Read our guide below, then contact us to learn more about how we can help you:
- How to identify your intellectual property assets
- How to cost-effectively choose the optimum level of protection for these assets
- How to protect your trade marks
- Which potential trade marks can be registered—and which can’t
- Where patent applications can fail
- Why The Legal Director can be significantly cheaper than specialist intellectual property lawyers such as patent attorneys
How an experienced part‑time Legal Director can help you protect your business’s valuable intellectual property
Every business has intellectual property—trade marks, designs, patents, unpatented innovations, and copyright in written materials. It’s not only valuable in its own right, it also enhances the value of your business. But many businesses, though, are confused about how to register, protect—and defend—that intellectual property.
Worse, they’ll make basic mistakes in exercising—or attempting to exercise—their intellectual property rights. Mistakes that are serious enough to invalidate the protection that they had assumed they would be securing.
That's where one of our part‑time Legal Directors can help you. With one of our part‑time Legal Directors working as part of your business, you’ll not only have highly experienced intellectual property expertise on hand whenever you need it, but also continuity. A familiar face, operating as part of your team, helping your business with intellectual property management going forward.
Below we summarise some of the ways in which we help you to cost-effectively identify, protect, and defend those valuable trade marks, designs, patents, and copyrighted materials.
Common mistakes in intellectual property protection
Time and again, we at The Legal Director see businesses make these basic mistakes with intellectual property protection, leaving them open to serious commercial risks.
What sort of mistakes? What sort of risks?
Using trade marks that can't be registered, for example. That’s because in trade mark law, a trade mark cannot be either descriptive of—or related to—the product or service that is being trade marked.
Another danger: failing to register—or renew—trade marks everywhere that your business trades, or might want to trade. Because while in certain countries there's a right to sue businesses which are passing off their products or services as yours, and fraudulently using your trade mark, that’s not the case in every country.
Still another danger: failing to protect trade marks. Always append the ‘®’ symbol, which is a formal part of the trade mark. Never use the trade mark in a descriptive context, and always act promptly if aware of possible infringement. Fail to act promptly, and your business may be deemed in law to have consented to that infringement.
Patents? Design registrations? Copyright? Just as full of intricate complexities. Time and again, we see businesses commission designs from designers, but fail to acquire the intellectual property that they have commissioned and paid for.
How will The Legal Director work with you on intellectual property protection?
Here at The Legal Director, our approach to intellectual property protection is twofold. First, help you to identify, secure, and defend your valuable intellectual property. And second, to do so cost-effectively.
And cost-effectively in two particular ways. One, we understand that in the real world, it may not be possible for businesses to protect every aspect of every piece of intellectual property that they own. Trade-offs and compromises are essential.
Two, we’re also significantly cheaper than specialist intellectual property lawyers such as patent attorneys. So while working with The Legal Director means that you’ll still need a patent attorney for tasks which call for a patent attorney’s specialist expertise, you won’t be paying a patent attorney for general intellectual property advice and strategy that a commercial business lawyer can provide.
What detailed intellectual property legal advice do we provide?
- We work with you to identify your valuable intellectual property.
- We assess the existing level of protection applicable to that intellectual property.
- We make cost-effective recommendations for securing protection for unprotected intellectual property—registration, copyright notices, patents, and so on.
- We look for ways to enhance the level of protection applicable to intellectual property that is protected—again, cost-effectively.
- We provide advice on how to defend your valuable intellectual property against infringements.
How does The Legal Director's advice and approach differ from that of a traditional firm of solicitors/law firm?
As you can imagine, this is very different to the way that a traditional firm of solicitors or law firm is likely to work with you.
A traditional firm of solicitors or law firm will typically operate at a distance, viewing intellectual property from the point of view of a one-off assignment or project, rather than helping you with an ongoing intellectual property management requirement.
A traditional firm of solicitors or law firm will also typically offer advice very much from a purely legal perspective, rather than providing practical advice and guidance as to how to protect intellectual property risk in the real world of business—and in particular, your business.
At The Legal Director, our part-time Legal Directors are seasoned—and senior—corporate lawyers with extensive experience of the realities of the business world.
The three key areas where one of our part‑time Legal Directors can help you to protect your valuable intellectual property.
- We audit and take an inventory of all your intellectual property assets—trade marks, designs, patents, unpatented innovations, and copyright in written materials. For many businesses, it’s the first time that they have this single, business-wide view of their intellectual property assets.
- We provide cost-effective advice on which intellectual property it is worth protecting, recommend how to protect it, and instruct patent attorneys and other intellectual property specialists as appropriate.
- In the event that it becomes necessary to defend infringements of your intellectual property assets, we provide guidance and strategies for doing this—again, instructing other intellectual property specialists as appropriate.
Then call 020 3053 8613 for further information and advice.