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What is intellectual property infringement?

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IP Disputes

Many businesses are unsure of what intellectual property is, let alone are they able to answer the question "what is intellectual property infringement? We are here to help.

Foremost, it is important to know that intellectual property is a niche area of law. As such IP is broadly outside the scope of lawyers who do not specialise.

IP infringement in particular can be complex for people without a legal education and specialism in IP to understand.

Part of the problem is that a lot of common knowledge about IP is uninformed, incorrect or incomplete.

Intellectual property infringement can cause serious damage to businesses. As such it should be treated seriously.

If you know you need help with any Intellectual Property Infringement, click the button below.


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What is intellectual property infringement? An image of a contemplative man




What is IP?

A business’ intellectual property (or IP) encompasses all of the intangible assets that the company holds.

Principally, this includes things like trade marks, copyright in original creative works, design rights and patents.

However, companies hold a lot more intangible assets that can be protected in many other ways such as:

  • Confidential information and Trade Secrets
  • Articles of non-disclosed information
  • Agreements and licenses (supplier, distribution, website, software)
  • And much more…

Intellectual property is the term for all of the unique: information, knowledge and expertise – that a business relies on.



What is Intellectual Property Infringement?


Intellectual property infringement is when any of these intangible assets are used by another person or business without the permission of their owners.

Often businesses license or franchise their intellectual property to others for a fee. For many businesses this a great way of securing income and further developing their brands and business.

When infringement occurs, however, the owner of the intellectual property can seek legal recourse to limit and stop the damage that infringement has on their business.

The kind of legal recourse that can be taken relies upon the nature of the infringing activity.

Because of the potential severity of the situation (whether infringed or accused of infringement), it is important not to act without correct advice.



How does instructing Intellectual Property specialists help?


Intellectual property specialists are able to narrow down the problem to specific legal wrongs.

This includes things like trade mark infringement, copyright infringement, patent infringement and design right infringement.

An accurate and proper response to intellectual property infringement is critically important.

Many areas of intellectual property legislation include “threats” rules. These ensure those if false accusations of infringement are made, accusers can face court action themselves. This is because false accusations and actions that result can profoundly damage businesses.

There are also many other forms of infringement which can be remedied through legal recourse – here specialist expertise is necessary to get to the heart of the matter.

Specialist intellectual property solicitors can:

  • Help you precisely identify your IP and what rights it grants you
  • Identify what IP belongs to you and the extent that infringement has occurred
  • Write comprehensive letters before action or cease and desist letters for you. Stopping action before it get too serious and costly Research the acts in question and identify evidence to support your case
  • Provide information about different Court procedures open to you. Putting together an upfront strategy and costs budget so you’re aware of your exposure when asserting your right
  • Correctly identify the individual or company infringing your intellectual property to ensure that claims are correctly made and enforceable
  • If you are accused of infringement, assess whether claims against you are serious and well-founded; and determine the best course of action
  • Distinguish criminal (e.g. counterfeiting) with non-criminal activity that require different legal processes
  • Help you put together a damages claim and correctly value your losses
  • Advise on mediation versus Court action, helping you achieve the outcome that is best for your business
  • Reduce costs associated with instructing specialist barristers as IP expertise is “in-house”
  • Speed up the process of securing a remedy through applying the correct expertise in the first instance
  • Provide peace of mind and certainty as to your position now – and in the future





Virtuoso Legal is an award-winning specialist IP law boutique.

Our sole specialism is intellectual property law.

We have assisted clients on IP infringement claims for the past 10 years – on both sides.

Each member of our team of solicitors has an educational and career specialism in intellectual property.

We commonly receive referral work from global law firms seeking to support their clients in IP matters outside of their remit.

The majority of our claims settle before Court because we understand IP and can address problems before they increase in severity.

If you have any issues with intellectual property infringement, then get in touch by clicking the button below.


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Virtuoso Legal is a team of intellectual property specialists based in Leeds and London - operating worldwide.Virtuoso Legal's team of IP experts have successfully tried cases in the IPEC, High Court, Court of Appeals and United Kingdom Supreme Court. In addition, the team assist companies in creating, commercialising and protecting the big ideas that make their business unique. The firm and its professionals are ranked yearly in legal directories such as the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners, cementing their status as a Top 2% law firm in the world.


DISCLAIMER: The content within this post is for educational and entertainment purposes only. Virtuoso Legal does not take any responsibility for those that use this information and waive any liability for any resulting effect on your personal or commercial circumstances. If you are experiencing an issue and need advice, we strongly encourage you to contact a solicitor to identify your best course of action.

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