Intellectual property is becoming more and more of an issue for many people nowadays and if you have created something original, then if you decide you want to, you can apply Intellectual Property laws to protect your creation.

There are quite a number of different applications of Intellectual Property, such as copyright, patents and trademarks and although you will have all heard all of these terms, you probably don’t know how this applies to you or your business. The main idea behind intellectual property is that you can protect your work from being used by someone else, or if they do want to use it they will have to pay you a fee and seek your permission first.

Books on copyright law
Image by Michael Mandiberg

What To Do When You’ve Been Plagiarised

Sometimes though, someone may decide to use your work without getting your permission first and because of the huge growth of the online space, this is becoming easier and easier to do, mainly because information is now available to find and share at our fingertips.

You might discover that someone has used something which you have created, for example some web copy or a photograph that you have protected, and you may decide to take action against the person using it without permission. Most of these disputes will centre on the unauthorised use or who actually owns it. You may be better off to try to open negotiations with the other party before taking legal action. The cost to litigate at this stage may be prohibitive.

When Might A Solicitor Be Appropriate?

If you don’t feel able to approach the other party yourself or if you have tried to but don’t feel that you are getting anywhere, you could speak to a solicitor who specialises in disputes and litigation to help you with this.

They will be able to advise you clearly on what steps you should take next and whether you should try to negotiate or be robust and litigate. This will largely depend on the type of intellectual property infringement which has taken place.

One thing is certain though, even if you have legal protection in place from Intellectual Property law, this does not stop anyone from using your creations, but it does give you the opportunity to seek damages from them if they are in breach.

For more information about this article or any aspect of our disputes and litigation services, please call us on 0800 142 2775 or reply to this email and we will be delighted to help you (there is no charge for initial telephone discussions).