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Knowledge

“A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers” – Plato

If you are a solicitor, in-house professional or business director who is familiar with intellectual property – please review cutting-edge insight and opinion authored by our team of specialists.

In this section you will find the latest case law in IP summarised and reviewed for its impact on your business and the field of law.

If you are dipping your toes in the water and want to know a bit more about IP, take a look at our frequently asked questions section. Here the most common questions posed to our specialist team are explained in a non-technical straightforward way.

Insight and Opinion

By Virtuoso Legal

18/08/22

Photo by Richard Horvath on Unsplash   By Kostas Retzopoulos Disclaimer: This insight should not be construed as legal advice on any specific facts. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only. You are urged to consult your own solicitor on any specific legal questions you may have.     Introduction   In October…

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By Virtuoso Legal

10/08/22

Photo by Alvaro Reyes on Unsplash By Christos Sakellaropoulos Disclaimer: This insight should not be construed as legal advice on any specific facts. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only. You are urged to consult your own solicitor on any specific legal questions you may have.   Introduction   Video games encompass complex…

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By Virtuoso Legal

24/01/22

Photo by Nadine Shaabana on Unsplash By Daniel Eid and Cameron Ward Disclaimer: This insight should not be construed as legal advice on any specific facts. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only. You are urged to consult your own solicitor on any specific legal questions you may have.   Introduction   Patents…

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Certain burning questions come up again and again in IP. For those looking to get a handle on what it’s all about, take a look at our FAQs below.

Frequently Asked Questions

New to IP? Need some help understanding the terms and practices? Look no further — below you will find some frequently asked questions with detailed information on each topic.

General

Photo by Campaign Creators on Unsplash Words by Dr. Martin Douglas Hendry   Do you work in the creative industry? Are you well versed in how copyright impacts you and the business you work in? If you're starting from square one, or need a bit of a refresher - this guide is for you. In…

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IP Disputes

Photo by GR Stocks on Unsplash  Words by Dr Martin Douglas Hendry   Introduction   Trademark disputes can be very disruptive to businesses. Unless handled in a proactive and tactical way they can have a significant impact on resources including time and money. In some of the worst-case scenarios, this also means a rebranding exercise…

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IP Disputes

Photo by Gary Bendig on Unsplash Words by Dr Martin Douglas Hendry   Introduction A trademark (spelt "trade mark" in the UK) is a registered brand element which is often a word, phrase, or logo that identifies a product or service that distinguishes it from those of other manufacturers. Trademarks are important because they allow…

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General

Photo by Uriel SC on Unsplash Words by Dr Martin Douglas Hendry   Introduction   In recent years intellectual property (IP) has become more of an important topic for businesses looking to bring something different to the marketplace. Whether it is a distinct brand, a certain voice, or a unique innovation in their product or…

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Brand protection

Photo by Marten Newhall on Unsplash Words by Hallam Whitehead     Introduction   When registering a trademark (or "trade mark" as it is spelt in the UK), it is important to make sure that the brand you are registering is not being used by an existing entity. There are a couple of reasons for…

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Brand protection

Photo by Milos Lopusina on Unsplash By Cameron Ward     Introduction   The process of registering a trademark (spelt “trade mark” in the United Kingdom) includes two main phases. The first of these is the examination, where a trademark examiner reviews the trademark to see whether it can be registered as a functional trademark.…

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Brand protection

Photo by Arthur Mazi on Unsplash Words by Dr Martin Douglas Hendry     Introduction: NFTs   NFTs are an emerging technology which courts a degree of controversy. They are a blockchain technology which in theory, and to a degree in practice enables the ownership of discrete digital assets. This is compelling to proponents of…

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Brand protection

Photo by Robert Anasch on Unsplash Words by Dr Martin Douglas Hendry       Introduction: trademark a logo   At Virtuoso Legal, we help businesses of all sizes protect their brands with trademarks. A lot of the time these brands are logos or symbols which are attached to their goods or services. We help…

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Brand protection

Photo by Mike Petrucci on Unsplash Words by Dr Martin Douglas Hendry​   The name of your business is one of the most important assets that your company holds. That's why most businesses (when they reach a certain size) look to trademark their business name to protect it. In the guide below we provide answers…

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Brand protection

Photo by Ari Spada on Unsplash Words by Dr. Martin Douglas Hendry​   What does counterfeit mean?   Counterfeit is a term that is used to describe a fraudulent imitation of authentic goods. It can be used as an adjective to describe goods that are fraudulent imitations (e.g. "these Nike shoes are not genuine they…

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General

Words by Todd Bateman If you're a business looking for help with your intellectual property - it is important to know what to look for in an intellectual property solicitor. There are massive law firms out there who keep worldwide brands at the top of their tree, and there are individual lawyers who can provide…

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Brand protection

Photo by Jan Antonin Kolar on Unsplash Words by Todd Bateman     Intellectual property theft: introduction   Are you a business concerned about intellectual property theft? You have come to the right place. And, you are not alone! Intellectual property theft is a common problem for businesses in the modern age. Most contemporary businesses…

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Brand protection

Words by Dr. Martin Douglas Hendry   How much does it cost to file a trademark application?   So, you are looking to file a trademark (or as we say in the UK "trade mark") - congratulations! Registering a trademark is not free and there are a number of factors that influence how much it…

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Brand protection

  Photo by Pablo Gentile on Unsplash Words by Dr. Martin Douglas Hendry   GUIDE: How to trademark a name in the UK   So you are looking to trademark your name in the UK - congratulations!  A trademark (spelt "trade mark" in the UK) is a registered intellectual property right that protects your name…

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General

Words by Todd Bateman     What is an invention?   An invention is a new and improved product, process, or device that is created as a result of human ingenuity and creativity. Inventions can be created for a variety of purposes, including solving problems, improving upon existing products or devices, or simply providing entertainment.  …

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IP Disputes

Photo by History in HD on Unsplash Words by Todd Bateman   What are patent invalidation and patent revocation?   After a patent is awarded, it can be annulled, or its scope of protection restricted through a revocation or invalidation procedure. Thisis typically launched by a third party, who do so under a certain legal pretext.…

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General

Photo by iam_os on Unsplash Words by Todd Bateman   Do I need permission to share other people's copyright work online?   There is a general rule that you cannot share other people's copyright work online without their permission. This includes sharing it on social media, on your own website or blog, or in any other…

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General

Photo by Frankie Cordoba on Unsplash Words by Todd Bateman  Introduction   Over the past two decades, the internet has fundamentally changed the way we live, work, and play. One of the most significant changes has been the rise of the creator economy. With the internet, anyone can be a creator. You no longer need expensive…

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Brand protection

Photo by Phil Desforges on Unsplash Words by Dr Martin Douglas Hendry     What are prior rights? The term “prior rights” refers to different kinds of pre-existing rights relevant to the current status of a legal subject in question. Within intellectual property, there are many pre-existing overlapping rights which can (and often do) conflict.…

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General

Photo by Kumpan Electric on Unsplash Words by Dr Martin Douglas Hendry   What is an industrial design?   An industrial design is a creative design for products or packaging, resulting from the application of industrial design principles. It is concerned with the aesthetics of form and can be applied to a wide variety of products,…

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Brand protection

Photo by Victória Kubiaki on Unsplash Words by Todd Bateman   The function of trademarks   Trademarks (spelt "trade marks" in the UK) serve as a link between customers and producers, allowing consumers to correlate a product with its origin, allowing them to make informed purchasing decisions. It is important that trademarks are able to perform…

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General

Photo by Trevor Brown on Unsplash Words by Todd Bateman  Introduction   Photographers often create hundreds of images every day and in doing so they are (whether they know it or not) engaging with intellectual property in a meaningful way. Awareness of intellectual property can benefit photographers significantly, helping them monetize and sell their images.…

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General

Words by Dr Martin Douglas Hendry   What is originality in copyright?   To be protected by copyright, works must be “original” or be seen to have “originality”. In the legal sense, a work being “original” or having “originality” refers to the notion of independent creation. This means that the work is not copied or comprised…

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IP Disputes

  Words by Dr Martin Douglas Hendry     Introduction   Copyright Infringement can be a serious legal issue for those who receive a claim, as dealing with a protracted dispute can be a drain on both time and financial resources. Yet, any business that produces creative outputs may be at risk of receiving a…

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General

  Introduction   Sound recording artists (whether they are musicians, producers, composers or otherwise) are creators who are most visibly affected by intellectual property rights and copyright in particular. It seems that at any given moment, the most prominent recording artists on the planet is usually in the position where they are defending the ownership…

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Brand protection

  Brands are more important than ever. They make a business' products stand out and keep customers coming back for more. Protecting brands is key to staying ahead of the competition and copycats who seek to take advantage. In this guide, we present a simple 5-step process to work toward best-in-class brand protection. Read on!…

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General

Introduction   A lot of business owners think that protecting their intellectual property is just something for big companies and is not worth the time or money. In reality, intellectual property (IP) is an important legal component for any business, no matter how big or small they are. Many know that there are tangible assets…

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Brand protection

Photo by Denny Müller on Unsplash Words by Dr Martin Douglas Hendry   All about registered trademarks   Registered trademarks protect signs that perform the function of identifying the source of a business's goods or services, distinguishing them from 3rd parties. A trademark also only protects goods and services within certain classifications, which have to be…

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General

Word by Dr Martin Douglas Hendry   Is intellectual property infringement a criminal offence?   Typically, intellectual property is not considered a criminal offence, but rather a civil offence. Despite this, there are some kinds of intellectual property infringement that can result in criminal sanctions. For example, counterfeiting (which typically results from a range of other…

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Words by Todd Bateman   Before the 21st century Inventors used their own money, technology, and equipment to produce most inventions, for example during Thomas Edison's time. In today's world, however, with the expansion of science and technology, as well as rapid economic and social development, an innovation frequently necessitates the contribution of large amounts of…

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Brand protection

Photo by Two Paddles Axe and Leatherwork on Unsplash Words by Todd Bateman   Introduction   A brand can make or break a business. A good brand means a protected and recognisable identity that people seek near and far. A bad brand means lacking an overall distinctive impression in the eyes of the public -…

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Words by Todd Bateman   What are patent rights and how can you get them?   In general, patents are given in order to protect inventions. What is regarded eligible for patent protection and related provisions change from country to country because to differences in national conditions. Your invention must meet specific conditions in order to…

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Words by Todd Bateman   The first step forward   Deciding to open a business in the UK is an exciting prospect that many people pursue in their lifetimes, however, the statistics don’t look good for new starts up with 90% failing to make it successful. To make your business stand the best chance of…

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General

Photo by Laura Vinck on Unsplash Words by Dr Martin Douglas Hendry   Why do we need IP?   What is IP? Intellectual property (or IP) is a term used to refer to creations of the mind which can be protected by law. This includes things such as goodwill in businesses, inventions, creative works, and more.  …

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Words by Todd Bateman   Introduction   In this FAQ we will look at some key points you’ll need to take into consideration when it comes to protecting an invention. Doing so can involve cost, but exclusive ownership of an invention that has real potential has no price tag. In this post, we provide a…

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General

  Words by Dr Martin Douglas Hendry   Introduction   Whether you are a professional photographer or a casual Instagram snapper - photographs have become an important part of our day-to-day lives. More images are being created today than ever before. There is also an increasing number of opportunities for creators to use photographs in…

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IP Disputes

WHAT IS A TRADEMARK?   To avoid trademark infringement, it is important to first have a strong grasp on what a trademark ("trade mark") is. Businesses attach “signs” to themselves, their products and their services. These can typically be a name, a logo or other kind of sign which helps the buying public recognise the…

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General

By Todd Bateman and Dr Martin Douglas Hendry   Innovation, where to begin?   As intellectual property specialists, we help innovative businesses change the landscape every day. Developing an innovation culture within a business helps them best competitors by developing new ways to surprise and delight clients and customers. Whether it is developing new products…

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IP Disputes

Copyright infringement is a common IP dispute that emerges when a creative work that attracts copyright protection is used without the express consent of the copyright holder. A lack of general awareness about copyright, how infringement works, and the increased ease in which it can occur means that a lot of people get caught in…

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Brand protection

Securing the right domain name is important for your online business. Domain names now represent key business assets more than ever before. Below is an essential guide to domain names that will help set you up for success. Read on!   What is a domain name?   A domain name is an online address that…

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IP Disputes

By Elizabeth Ward and Martin Douglas Hendry   Intellectual property is a key asset within contemporary businesses. With many employees recently being furloughed or leaving businesses; many highly talented people are establishing new ventures or moving elsewhere. It is important that with the big changes that are currently happening, employers, freelancers, employees and ex-employees are…

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General

WHAT IS Intellectual Property AND WHY PROTECT IT?   A business’ intellectual property (or IP) encompasses all of the intangible assets that the company holds. Nowadays for most companies, the unique knowledge, experience and expertise that they hold equals or surpasses the value of assets they hold physically. It is important that where possible, this…

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General

  What is a Patent?   A patent is a registered intellectual property right to protect an invention for a set period. Patents allow the inventor of the invention to make exclusive use of it and take legal action against anyone who tries to copy or use the invention during that period.   What qualifies…

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General

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash   Introduction - Where to get free images online   Businesses today are continually creating a host of new content for a variety of purposes. Whether it's: news posts blogs emails social media posts physical marketing collateral like leaflets and booklets   Any business worth its salt wants these…

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General

  What is a design? A "design" can commonly refer to a plan or drawing produced to show the look and function or workings of a building, garment, or other object before it is made. The word design can also refer to the resulting designed object in its 3D form.  In the legal sense, a…

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IP Disputes

  Video Explainer: Copyright infringement     Do you need help with copyright infringement? Click the button below to ask our experts.   Ask our Experts   What is Copyright?   Copyright is an unregistered right which protects original creative works. Copyright comes into existence at the point where an original creative work is made.…

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General

What is IP? Intellectual Property (or “IP”) is another name for the intangible assets that are created in your business as part of your typical day-to-day work. For example, IP can include: the branding of your business and the products you offer; the designs created by your business; creative works; data, and; your own inventions.…

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Brand protection

  In time, your marks become synonymous with the quality of your products and services. It’s how people differentiate you from your competitors. They can also make you money when you license them for others to use. So it’s important to do what you can to get it right. But what *exactly* makes a great…

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Brand protection

Photo by Javardh on Unsplash     What is a trademark? To understand what a trademark is, it is first important to understand how businesses use "signs" in relation to their goods and services. Businesses attach signs to themselves, their products and their services. These signs might be a name, a logo or other kind…

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General

​ What is copyright? Copyright is an unregistered right which protects original creative works. Copyright comes into existence at the point where a novel creative work is made and protects the original characteristics of the work. (In the USA alone, in order to enforce copyright, creators are encouraged to register their copyright with the USPTO.)…

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IP Disputes

  The same goes for IP. IP, being what it is, can be the lifeblood of businesses. Whether it’s: Core brand elements (logos, slogans, get-up, brand names) Creative outputs (images, music, websites, written material, videos…) Inventions (secret technology, formulations and processes…) Unique know-how (client lists, supplier lists, critical business info…) Designs (original 2D and 3D…

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General

  All too often in the news, you hear about companies being “forced to change their name” after receiving a letter from a solicitor, or something similar. As a solicitor, sometimes I wish my pen (or computer keyboard) was actually that powerful! Spoiler alert, it’s not. The short point is this; a letter from a…

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Brand protection

We must admit, £4,000 does seem a large number to us. However, also we have extensive experience in helping people with DIY trademark registrations. Indeed, we’ve covered some of the pitfalls of self-registering in previous blogs. In short, it is often disastrous. Do you need help with trademarks for your business? then get in touch…

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Brand protection

In the world of online marketing, ownership over a conversation is very lucrative. Because of this, brands now use hashtags to guide engagement with their campaigns. What’s more – they have also started to trademark hashtags to ensure they maintain control! (Although, actually doing this is another thing entirely…) So, trademarking a hashtag may well…

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IP Disputes

Let me explain. GIFs as we well know are an image format which has become popular through their use in sharing short repeating animations. GIFs exist within the broader culture of “memes” which are now a staunch part of internet conversation. Alongside memes, GIFs are especially notable in their versatility with their meaning often defined…

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IP Disputes

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times… It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness… It was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity… The famous introduction to Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities is noted for it’s contrasts. The juxtapositions at…

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IP Commercialisation

The franchisee trades under the brand of the franchisor, but operate as their own business. Examples of successful franchises include Subway, McDonald’s, Domino’s Pizza and Burger King, where the smaller units cover a specific territory, making profit not just for the individual unit owner, but for the franchisor as well. It’s no coincidence that these…

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IP Disputes

  What is a trademark?   To understand trademark infringement it is first important to understand what trademarks are and how they work. Trademarks ("trade mark" being the UK spelling) tell people: Where marked goods or services have come from (i.e. as a "designation of origin") The quality expected of the goods and services That…

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General

  What is intellectual property?   Intellectual property (otherwise known as IP) is the name given for a category of intangible creations emerging from human creativity. Examples of creations that fall under IP are videos, photos, designs, inventions, brands, business secrets and a lot more. It has become more important than ever for businesses and…

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IP Disputes

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…

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