Every business owns a large amount of copyright material, whether they realise it or not.
Copyright protects original artistic, musical, dramatic and literary works, including computer programs, sound recordings, films, broadcasts and typographical arrangements of published works. As copyright arises automatically without the need for registration, businesses are often unaware of the full extent and value of their copyright material. Anything from a set of slides for a pitch given to a potential customer, to a complex algorithm, to a set of instructions for use of an industrial machine, may be protected by copyright so long as they are original.
As copyright is the intellectual property right which most often applies to software, its importance to businesses in the digital world cannot be underestimated. Ownership of copyright in software and other materials developed for a business can be complex and should be addressed at an early stage.
Our team has extensive experience in copyright disputes and litigation, commercial arrangements and transactions involving copyright and advising on strategies to safeguard copyright works and enforce rights where necessary.
Recent examples of non-contentious copyright matters in which we have been involved include advising:
- ENER-G Holdings plc, a global sustainable and renewable energy management solutions and technologies provider, on the transfer-up and subsequent licensing-down of various internally-developed software programs and associated and ancillary IPR
- Best Union UK, one of Europe’s leading ticketing operators, on the purchase and licence back of software
- International brewer SABMiller on film and music licensing issues
- Advising one of the UK's major copyright collecting societies in a complex dispute concerning the flow of international royalty payments
Recent contentious matters include representing:
- The Juratoys Group with its global online infringement enforcement programme, including claims for copyright infringement
- Leading industrial gas supplier BOC on a claim for copyright and database right infringement against a key competitor. The dispute concerned the unauthorised use of a proprietary and valuable healthcare database, together with confidential training materials and data
- Brighton & Hove Albion FC in copyright infringement proceedings against estate agents concerning the unauthorised use of the club’s logo
- Omnibill (Pty) Limited in its claim concerning the unauthorised online reproduction of photographs. This case involved difficult legal issues concerning jurisdiction and the liability of a UK company for infringement that had primarily taken place in South Africa