Intellectual property rights (including trade marks, designs, copyright and domain names) are fundamental to most modern businesses – they are key assets that inform the way businesses operate and they can have significant balance sheet value.
Our clients may have significant real estate requirements but they also own and use intellectual property rights: the brand; product/packaging designs; software systems; key know-how and proprietary databases. For some, intellectual property ranks amongst their most valuable assets. We are now well positioned to be able to provide our clients with advice in these matters as well as their property issues.
Every business should regularly assess the value of its own intellectual property, consider how to protect it properly and how to deploy it in the most effective way. Similarly, where there is a reliance on third party intellectual property rights, a business needs to know it has secured appropriate contractual protection to ensure its continued effective use.
We have experienced intellectual property specialists who ensure our clients manage the challenge of deriving value through the effective organisation and commercialisation of their own intellectual property assets, while minimising risks in relation to third party rights.
We provide commercial services to clients across a range of sectors, helping them to secure, manage and generate true value from their IP assets. Our work includes:
- Identifying and capturing valuable IP: assessing and auditing IP rights created and owned by a business and ensuring key IP is properly protected
- Devising business pathways to ensure an appropriate return on investment in IP assets: advising on ways in which IP assets can be deployed to create income, whether through use by the business itself, licensing to third parties (including ‘stick’ licensing) or sale/charging of the assets.
- Buying and selling IP assets: drafting relevant assignments for registered and unregistered rights, including appropriate warranties
- Securing appropriate protection for IP rights: advising on most cost-effective means for protecting IP rights, including filing relevant applications for registered rights
- Licensing / Franchising: licensing brands and other IP rights nationally/internationally
- Advertising and sponsorship: drafting and negotiating agreements for commercialising brands and personality rights
- Privacy and personality rights: advising on issues surrounding the protection and commercialisation of rights to one’s image and private details
- Corporate structuring for IP assets: assisting with issues surrounding intra-group ownership and licensing of IP rights
- Branding and design strategies: advising on the relative strengths of new brands, devising business pathways to ensure effective clearance of brands/designs to minimise risks of third party rights infringement
- IP dispute resolution: advising on the merits of claims and managing pre-action correspondence and claims
- Tribunal representation: representing clients in tribunal proceedings
- Mediation of IP disputes: mediating disputes between parties
- We advise a number of high street retail clients on an ongoing basis on the commercial and IP aspects of their businesses including:
- the franchising and licensing internationally of key own brands, including preparing and negotiating the relevant franchise/licence agreements (and related supply agreements where appropriate);
- drafting and negotiating distribution, agency and manufacturing agreements;
- the management of supply networks: ensuring key rights are owned by the client and agreements are in place to provide supplier performance criteria and ensure a change of supplier is not too disruptive;
- dispute resolution – licensing disputes and enforcing/defending IP rights; and
- personality rights clearance issues and photographic copyright clearance regarding the use of images of famous personalities.
- Negotiating a multi-million pound R&D contract between technology businesses, including the licensing for the use and exploitation of background and foreground IP rights.
- Advising on the internal licensing programme for an international charity and devising a trade mark strategy across the foundation.
- Advising database-owning businesses on key licences relating to commercialisation of the database by third parties, creation of apps, translations and creation of joint databases with partner organisations.
- International fashion brand group – providing ongoing copyright advice including personality right clearance and advice on music rights clearance issues.
We’re immensely proud of our client relationships. We strive to be a welcome and constant companion throughout their journeys.
Many of our clients have been with us for a long time: some since the firm began. We help them navigate matters to achieve the right outcome and we stay with them until everything has been resolved. By securing and protecting our clients’ interests, we give them the confidence and freedom to focus on their core business.
Our clients operate in different industries and sectors, but most of them have serious real estate interests, whether in the form of property in the traditional sense or other types of physical infrastructure.