Intellectual Property Lawyers

Intellectual property protection is critical for thousands of businesses, yet many lack a clear understanding of what IP is and fail to recognise when it should be protected.

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Safeguarding your ideas and creations from unauthorised use

Our experienced team of commercial lawyers possess a wealth of experience in IP matters. We work with a wide range of clients, from niche businesses to international brands, operating in a vast array of business sectors; from IT, engineering and manufacturing to the scientific and creative industries.

This expertise includes drafting, reviewing and negotiating a variety of contracts relating to intellectual property, including licences, assignments and agreements to govern the exploitation of IP. With technology and creativity playing such a pivotal role in the contemporary business environment, we are here to help you protect your most valuable assets.

Much of this work focuses on establishing the necessary protection to safeguard your ideas and creations from unauthorised use. By addressing these matters upfront, we greatly reduce the risk of future problems. When infringements do occur, or a dispute arises, we can represent you to ensure your best interests are fully pursued and protected.

Our IP expertise forms part of our overall, wide-ranging services for businesses. Due to our broad experience and knowledge base we can offer a truly holistic approach, drawing on the legal know-how of all relevant teams; from commercial law to litigation.

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What is intellectual property?

Intellectual property is something that you create using your mind. Unlike physical property, it is an intangible creation, such as an idea, an invention, a song, a piece of art or a symbol.

As with more tangible types of property, such as land or goods, you can own intellectual property and so you are able to protect its wrongful use (such as stealing or copying) by others.

There are various ways to assert your ownership of intellectual property. You may own it because you created it, or because you have bought the IP rights from the creator, or the previous owner. Intellectual property can have more than one owner. It may belong to a person or a business and it can be sold, transferred or licensed for use.

You will not normally own the intellectual property for something that was created as part of your employment, for example if you work in product development. However, if you are self-employed such as a freelance designer, you usually own the intellectual property you create, even where your work was commissioned and paid for by someone else (unless your contract states otherwise).

Whatever your situation, we can help you identify the intellectual property you own, and take the necessary steps to protect it.

Protection of intellectual property rights

Whether you are a sole trader or an international business, whether you write greeting cards or manufacture jet engines, your original ideas and creations can often be protected from infringement and unauthorised use.

The main types of intellectual property rights in the UK include trademarks, patents, designs, copyright and trade secrets.


A patent is a right granted to an inventor, in return for public disclosure about the invention. It gives you the right to stop others from making, using, selling and importing the invention.

Generally, a patent lasts for five years and can be renewed up to a maximum of 20 years.

To qualify for a patent, your invention must be a new and original idea (not previously available or described), clearly different from other existing items and capable of being made and used.


A trademark is a particular recognisable word, phrase, sign or symbol that denotes a product or service. The trademark will distinguish it from similar products or services from other suppliers and can include words, sounds, logos, colours or a combination of any of these. There are strict rules around what a trademark cannot include (for instance, offensive words and images, official emblems or national flags).

Famous examples include the ‘bitten’ Apple logo, the Nike ‘Just Do It’ phrase and the McDonald’s golden arches.

Whilst we do not offer the service of registering trademarks, we can offer advice and we can act on your behalf in taking legal action against anyone who uses your brand without your permission.

There are many other details and nuances surrounding the law in relation to trademarks and we will be happy to steer you through this legal landscape.


Copyright gives the creator of an original work exclusive rights to that work, for a set period and prevents others from using it without their permission. It is most commonly used for creative and artistic works, such as literature, music, art, sound recordings, broadcasts and films.

Copyright protection arises automatically - you don't have to apply or pay a fee to protect it, but we can help you understand and, where necessary, enforce your rights.


When you design something, such as a new product, you can protect this design from being copied. A design right protects the overall visual appearance of a product, such as its shape, texture or ornamentation. We can provide advice in relation to design rights (whether or not they are registered) and help if anyone tries to copy or use your design without your permission.

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Trade secrets

A trade secret is a form of confidential information which has commercial value to a business (and which may provide an economic advantage over competitors). Examples include a ‘secret recipe’ for a food or drink product or a special formula used in production.

A trade secret may be also made up of a combination of elements which, by themselves, are not secret so long as the particular ‘unknown’ combination used provides a competitive advantage.

Trade secrets are like any other intellectual property rights: as such they can be assigned or licensed to other parties. We help our clients to understand the details of trade secrets and prepare, or review, contracts to protect them, or license their use to others.

Intellectual property infringements

Putting the right measures in place when designing or creating products and services will minimise the likelihood of others stealing your ideas, copying your designs or producing unauthorised goods based on your inventions.

However, experience shows that other individuals and businesses may seek to take advantage of your creativity for their own ends. Stealing your idea or copying your logo can be as every bit damaging as stealing your physical property, so you have the right to protect yourself and, where necessary, take action.

If your intellectual property is infringed, then our experienced and highly qualified legal specialists can help you to assess the impact and take whatever remedial action is most appropriate.

Why choose us as your intellectual property solicitors

When it comes to preserving and protecting your intellectual property, you need people in your corner who are knowledgeable, experienced and fully committed to helping you.

Our team is experienced in dealing with IP matters and works closely with colleagues specialising in specialist property, data protection, technology and many other related disciplines. We handle these affairs for clients both large and small, so we have the real-world experience to back up the legal know-how and specialist training.

This multi-disciplinary approach and a commitment to holistic legal solutions mean you are in safe, strong hands.

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Meet the intellectual property team