Intellectual Property Law


ADL Solicitors started out as a firm specialising in Intellectual Property and Information Technology and remains a leading firm of intellectual property and Information Technology specialist lawyers based in London. We  and have clients ranging from Startups and inventors through SMEs and all the way to large multinational companies. We are an award winning, niche Intellectual Property and Information Technology (IPIT) law firm.

Intellectual property is a complex mesh of laws, covering design and innovative products as well as your brand name, logo and even your reputation in the marketplace. It can involve analysing a complex myriad of UK, EU and international laws. IP laws can cover many different forms of creative work, from logos and corporate identity designs to products and services that set your business apart from your competitors. It can even cover things such as your business plan, your specialist know-how and customer data (trade secrets). Just as the law protects ownership of personal property, it also protects the exclusive control of certain “mental” intangible assets called intellectual property and aims to grant certain time limited monopolies or exclusive rights in exchange for complying with certain registration formalities or qualifying conditions, based on the principal that when individuals and businesses know that their creative work will be protected by law and that they can benefit financially from their endeavours, they are more likely to develop new technologies and create original material.

Depending on the type of asset that you want to protect, you need to understand which intellectual property right is available to you (i.e. patents, trade marks, designs and/or copyrights) and which of those will be suitable to achieve your business objectives. If you are a business – irrespective of size – it is crucial to protect unique products or services for which you own the IP rights, as competitors can use your success to effectively reduce your market share. Speed is also often critical.

Our services cover every area of IP (including copyright, designs, patents, trademarks, patents, privacy, trade secrets etc) and are a “one stop shop” for all your intellectual property and commercial legal needs with IP solicitors some of whom have over 25 years of experience helping clients protect, manage, exploit, enforce and defend their intellectual property rights.

Our intellectual property solicitors advise businesses and individuals on contentious intellectual property including how to manage, protect and exploit the intellectual property they have developed within brands, inventions, designs, know-how and literary, artistic and musical works. We aim to strike the right balance between being tough when protecting your interests, and commercially pragmatic solutions.  Cost-effectiveness of such an approach is made possible by our highly completive and innovative pricing structures. At the outset of every matter, we will discuss your requirements and identify costs and goals.

For many individuals and companies, intellectual property law protects more than just an idea or a concept – it protects genuine business assets integral to the success of the business,
 

Easily Protect your Intellectual Property with ADL Solicitors

Advertising and Marketing Compliance
Our specialist team provides an array of services in this area of continuous change. We help clients to comply with the laws and industry regulations that govern advertising and marketing, on a national and international level.

  • Ambush marketing
  • Copy clearance
  • Drafting and negotiating agreements
  • Sales promotions, competitions and prize draws
  • Advertising Standards Agency – compliance and complaints
  • Data collection and direct marketing
  • Sponsorship, events and endorsements

Anti-Counterfeiting and Anti-Piracy

  • Anti-Counterfeiting and Anti-Piracy strategy
  • Brand imitation services
  • Civil infringement and criminal proceedings
  • Customs filings, complaints and training
  • Obtaining and enforcing injunctions, search and seizure orders, asset tracing and freezing of assets
  • Collaborating with criminal law enforcement agencies

Commercial IP Rights Agreements and Exploitation

  • IP Rights Agreements – we help you negotiate the complex legal maze of multiple overlapping rights when licensing with extensive knowledge of how to protect know how, trade secrets and confidential information through commercial agreements and litigation measures we can help you protect and exploit these valuable assets.
  • Litigation from multi-million pound trademark and patent  claims in the High Court to more modest, but vital patent claims in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court;
  • All aspects of protection and enforcement of trade marks and brands, covering the entire spectrum of trade mark rights and related rights, such as passing off.
  • Clearance searches, protection and registration issues, co-ordination and management of trade mark filings and multinational branding (and domain name issues);
  • Franchise agreements, disputes and litigation.
  • Confidential Information, Know-How and Trade Secrets

Our intellectual property lawyers have in-depth experience in protecting the confidentiality of your information. We work hard to develop risk management procedures and systems to guard against the misuse and leakage of information. In tandem with this, we design monitoring and enforcement strategies, so we can respond immediately if things go wrong.

Copyright and Databases
Copyright does not protect ideas or broad concepts. Copyright only exists if your idea or creative activity is fixed or recorded in some way, for example in written text, software code, drawings, photographs, sculptures, works of architecture and works of artistic craftsmanship, films, broadcasts, theatrical plays, music and songs. Copyright automatically arises upon the creation of a work if it is a type of work capable of protection and unlike many other jurisdictions, there is no UK system of registration.We advise on the creation, ownership, commercialisation and enforcement of copyright and database rights, in the technical and creative industries.

  • Pre-publication and copy clearance
  • Ownership issues, advising both employers and employees
  • Art, music, film and publishing
  • Copyright levies and collecting societies
  • Database protection, risk management and exploitation
  • Rights enforcement and protection including disputes and litigation, commercial transactions, general clearance and advisory work, intellectual property rights audits and chain of title research;

Design protection

This is an underused right in the UK, possibly because of a lack of understanding on what can be protected. In the UK and Europe, design law protects the shape or outward appearance of a product. A basic form of unregistered protection arises automatically but designers can obtain a stronger form of protection  by registering and protecting their designs.  In order to protect a design it must be an original and new product, whose shape is not determined by its function or the need to fit or match other products.  Our solicitors can help you ensure you understand how your design is protected before you launch it to your market. Applications to register product designs should be made before launch or, at the latest, within 12 months of the launch or first marketing.

Domain Names
Although not intellectual property, domain names are a quasi-right similar to brand rights and which overlap with trade marks registrations. As the first lawyers to ever advise on a domain name dispute in 1993, our lawyers offer a simple one-stop solution for all  rights in domain names, in the UK and internationally.

  • Clearance and advising on filing strategies, including Generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs)
  • Overt or covert acquisition of domain names
  • Domain name registration, monitoring and enforcement
  • Domain name recovery and disputes

Franchising, Licensing and Commercial Agreements
We advise on, prepare and negotiate IP-related agreements for SMEs through to global corporations.

  • Licensing, distribution, franchising and assignments
  • Joint ventures and collaboration agreements
  • Non Disclosure Agreements
  • Intellectual Property Litigation and Dispute Resolution
  • Provide clear strategic guidance relating to the avoidance and resolution of IP-related disputes.
  • High Court
  • Intellectual Property Enterprise Court
  • Community Trade Mark Office and Court of Justice of European Union
  • UK Intellectual Property Office
  • Our expertise covers infringement, validity and ownership/entitlement disputes, and contractual disputes relating to intellectual property rights. We also advise in relation to passing-off and breach of confidence.  Our lawyers have significant experience in complex cross-border litigation. Often these cases can involve jurisdiction disputes, injunctive proceedings, search and seizure, and freezing orders. We also deal with civil and criminal proceedings relating to IP. This can involve working with Trading Standards and police forces, and dealing with private prosecutions.

Patents
A patent needs to be registered by an inventor which gives them the right to stop anyone else from making, using or selling their invention without their permission. The potential availability of patent protection for your innovation can easily be lost if you disclose the working of the invention before filing a patent application.  It is strongly advised that you work with a specialist lawyer and/or patent attorney to discuss any potentially patentable inventions and, if appropriate, to progress a patent application as this is a complex area of law.  The monopoly rights provided by a successful patent application last for 20 years from the filing of the application. Like many areas of IP, patents are only valid in certain territories and so a patent registered in the UK, is only valid in the UK.

We advise on patents across a range of industries, including healthcare, engineering, telecoms, software, electronics and automotive.

  • Opinions on patent validity and infringement
  • Valuation of patent portfolio and strategic review
  • Conducting and co-ordinating national and multi-jurisdictional patent litigation
  • Injunctions and other forms of emergency relief
  • Patent entitlement disputes
  • Exploitation of patent rights through licensing
  • Personality and Image Rights
    Our lawyers assist individuals and organisations in managing and protecting their information, name, image and reputation. We have particular experience of dealing with social media as well as the more traditional media and press and with the Guernsey Personality Rights.

Taking down websites & digital publications

  • Monitoring for offending material
  • Media and crisis management
  • Phone hacking

Trade Marks and Designs

  • Trademarks can protect many different forms of branding, whether business and product names, logos, shapes, sounds and even smells. Our solicitors can help you with the entire process, conducting searches to see if there are any conflicts with existing trademarks and registering your new trade mark in the most appropriate categories for your business.
  • Our team represent and advise many popular brands, including those in the fashion, media and catering industry. We offer a full service package to our clients, ensuring we provide you with adequate protection and guidance.
  • Clearance and strategic advice (locally, regionally and internationally)
  • Registration, enforcement and portfolio management
  • Oppositions and other matters before the UKIPO, EUIPO and representation at other national trade mark offices
  • Anti-counterfeiting and customs detention strategies
  • Dispute resolution, including cross border, multi-jurisdictional litigation
  • Registration of registered designs, filing and defending oppositions, invalidity and revocation proceedings

Accusedof Piracy or Infringment?

Many firms operate as either Infringement Claimant Solicitors or Infringement Defence Solicitors. We act as both.

This means we can anticipate arguments likely to be received from the Counterparty to any actual or threatened litigation.

Over the years, we have acted as Infringement Defence solicitors, we have acted for 

  • for clients whose rights have been infringed;
  • against importers unlawfully importing non-EU but genuine goods into Europe;
  • against importers importing goods into Europe in breach of restrictive covenants;
  • against importers importing counterfeit goods
  • for clients where Claimants have knowingly alleged falsely that their rights have been infringed;
  • for clients where Claimants have alleged that their rights have been infringed but where no such infringement actually occurred;
  • for clients facing intellectual property litigation as a defendant where the claim is doomed to failure but carried out to gain an anti-competitive legal advantage; and
  • for clients who have received cease and desist notices.

Most matters in Intellectual Property law are not as clear cut as some clients (and solicitors) will tell you and we have an very high success rate both as Infringement Defence and as Infringement Claimant solicitors. This comes from knowing the field from both sides of the Court (i.e. as both Defence and Claimant Counsel). If you are facing an infringement matter, our solicitors will provide a free 15 minute consultation* on the phone and will also provide a further 45 minutes free after the first 2 hours of billed work. This means that you get one hour of free advice. 


*In order to provide free advice, we regret to inform potential clients that our regulatory rules and GDPR data protection law require that you complete our engagement letter before we are able to give advice and before you are covered for legal advice.

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