Intellectual Property

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IP Protection and Structuring

IP rights of one form or another are key to almost every business. Whether it is a strong brand, proprietary technology, bespoke software or a confidential customer list, effective identification and protection of IP is vital.

We advise clients in all industry sectors on how IP rights are relevant to them, whether they can or should be protected through registration, how to ensure that they are owned by the correct entity and how best to ensure that they can be used by those that need them.  We work closely with leading firms of patent and trade mark attorneys to help clients obtain registered protection where appropriate.


These issues are best addressed early-on, for example when a business is set up or before embarking upon a joint venture, but they also arise when a business changes its commercial goals, makes an acquisition, rebrands or develops a new product line.  

Other related issues on which we regularly advise include:

  • Assessing the risk of whether a client’s proposed activity will infringe IP rights owned by others
  • In conjunction with our employment team, advising on the ownership of IP created by employees, consultants and contractors
  • In conjunction with our corporate team, advising on intra-group arrangements in relation to intellectual property rights
  • In conjunction with our tax team, advising on the tax issues surrounding the ownership, transfer and exploitation of IP rights

 

Our experience

  • Acting for SABMiller plc in relation to the $260million worldwide disposal of the Appletiser brand to The Coca-Cola Company  and the assignment or licensing of 19 other soft drink brands in Africa and Latin America
  • Advising ENER-G Holdings plc on the complex intra-group restructuring of the business’s highly valuable core IPR, including the transfer-up and subsequent complex licensing-down of various internally-developed software programs and associated and ancillary IP rights
  • Advising a number of design clients on strategies to minimise exposure to potential intellectual property claims from their customers

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