Avoiding IP rights of others
Intellectual Property (IP) rights can be a powerful tool for your business, but also for your competitors’ businesses!
Your business needs to be aware of what other people are doing so that you can avoid infringing their IP rights, find ways to work with them or oppose their rights when necessary.
Do you know what IP rights your competitors have?
If you are aware of your competitors’ IP rights, then you can be in a better position to avoid infringing those rights. Intellectual Property searches for existing IP rights are a good starting point to enable you to identify the IP rights of others. These searches can be tailored to a particular product or brand and to particular competitors.
As well as carrying out IP searches, Sanderson & Co. can also monitor the various IP offices’ registers for IP rights being granted to your competitors.
We can help you to identify IP rights that may affect your business, and help you to avoid those rights by suggesting ways to “work around” them.
Can you reach a compromise? Would licensing be a solution?
We understand that sometimes it is not possible or desirable to work around the IP rights of others. In these cases, you may be able to seek a licence or assignment of the IP rights in question.
Sanderson & Co. can co-ordinate the negotiation of licences or assignments of IP rights, and we can be on hand to review licence and assignment agreements to ensure that they are suitable for your needs from an IP perspective.
Is further action needed?
IP rights are not infallible and it may be that the IP rights granted to your competitors should not have been granted to them. At Sanderson & Co. we can help you to challenge the IP rights of others either at the IP office in question or during court proceedings.
For example, European patents can be opposed during the nine months following grant of the patent. Trade Mark applications can also be opposed after registration. Sanderson & Co. can file these oppositions so that spurious IP rights can be cancelled. We can also assist with providing arguments to present before or during court proceedings.
We can help you develop an IP strategy specific to your business.
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