Appleyard Lees


There are many myths and misunderstandings in the area of intellectual property.  You may have more rights than you thought you did.  However, you may risk giving away rights which you could monopolise and use in support of your business.  The FAQs below are common issues businesses have faced.

If I have a patent for my invention in the UK, I cannot stop someone else making the same invention in China and exporting to the USA for example? Read moreClose

Patents are territorial and only offer protection in countries where they are in force.  By not pursuing patent protection in a particular country, you are effectively giving up your monopoly rights in that country.  It is therefore important that you select countries where you require protection carefully.

I have formed a limited company and registered my company name with Companies House, no one can trade using my name can they? Read moreClose

It is true that no on else can register the same name, but that has no effect on someone attempting to trade using the same or similar trade mark.  Registering a trade mark will allow you to prevent others from trading using the same of similar mark for the same or similar goods/services.

I’ve invented something in my own time, using my own resources, do I have to tell my employer? Read moreClose

If you are employed and in a position where you are likely to invent something or it is a normal part of your duties, your employer may have first claim to any invention you make.  The same applies if you are a director (or possibly in a senior management position).  If you are not employed in such a position, it is likely that you will own the invention yourself.

If I pay a designer to work on my project, do I own the rights? Read moreClose

Since the introduction of the Intellectual Property Act 2014 in October 2014, the commissioner of a UK Registered and Unregistered design right is no longer the automatic owner. The first owner is the designer. This change brings ownership of UK design rights into alignment with UK copyright and Community Registered and Unregistered design rights. It is therefore vital to get an agreement in writing in such cases.

I have registered a word as a trade mark, but I have no plans to use it in the near future, no one else can use it as long as I maintain registered? Read moreClose

After a period of 5 years has elapsed from registration, a trade mark can be revoked for non-use.  In some other jurisdictions (especially the US), it is necessary to file ‘intent to use’ declarations at the time of filing.