Protecting your Intellectual Property is worth a thought in order to add financial value to your business. Putting legal protection in place that protects your Intellectual Property will act as a core asset that is capable of generating a tangible return for your business. Similar to real property, the owner of Intellectual Property may sell, transfer or assign their Intellectual Property to another individual. Types of Intellectual Property include, copyright, trademarks, patents, design rights.
Copyright does not protect your original idea, instead it protects your expression of this idea. Types of copyright may include but are not limited to:
- Literary Works
- Theatrical works
- Architectural Works
Your trademark relates to the identity of your brand, whether this be a good or a service – your trademark distinguishes your brand from that of other traders. If your Intellectual Property is protected then you may be in a position to enforce this protection should you need too.
Under the Trademarks Act, 1996, a trade mark is defined as “any sign capable of being represented graphically which is capable of distinguishing goods or services of one undertaking from those of other undertakings” and further it may consist of “words (including personal names), designs, letters, numerals or the shape of goods or of their packaging.”
Trademark owners may seek the intervention of the courts in order to assess an alleged Intellectual Property Infringement and to provide a civil remedy. In the event of a trademark infringement, your solicitor may issue a cease and desist letter to the infringing party. This may be sufficient to deter the infringing party in order to avoid legal proceedings. However, if it does not, a trade mark owner may then seek the intervention of the courts.
In order to register your trademark, section two of the application requires a legal representative to act on your behalf before the National Intellectual Property Office.
We can provide you with advice in relation to all aspects of trademark protection and enforcement within Ireland, across the EU and worldwide. With James McElwee of Rolleston McElwee Solicitors LLP a registered trademark agent in accordance with section 86 of the Trade Marks Act, 1996, we can assist you throughout the process of registering your trademark and further we can assist you in enforcing or defending your Intellectual Property.
Passing off protects unregistered rights associated with your business. Passing off may arise in a situation where a business in the course of its trading leads a consumer to believe that their goods or services are connected or linked to another business when in reality they are not. Goodwill is the reputation that a specific brand has built up in relation to a particular good or service which in turn attracts customers. Passing off is said to injure the goodwill of a particular brand.
Some of the areas we can advise you include, but are not limited to:
- Registration of trademarks
- Trademark/Intellectual Property disputes
- Trademark licensing
- Trademark assignments
- Passing off Actions
- Intellectual Property Infringement actions