Tag Archives: IP lawyers


IP Workshops – Essential IP Law For Creatives

IP WORKSHOPS - ESSENTIAL IP LAW FOR CREATIVESI have been hosting focused intellectual property workshops for creative agencies for a few months now. Attendees are incredibly engaged, and invariably find aspects of the workshop a real eye opener.

Intellectual property is intrinsically bound up with the work creative agencies do. Therefore, a good knowledge of Intellectual property law helps in running a creative business, as well as reducing the risk of legal complications.

For example, better to avoid an infringement claim by doing proper due diligence checks before creating a logo than waiting to find out there is a problem once the logo is already created.

Liability for IP issues

While many agencies aim to limit their liability for IP related issues by putting the onus on the client to obtain legal advice themselves, it is difficult to see how agencies could successfully absolve themselves of liability in situations where they create a new logo, or even a new name.

One of the most memorable cases involved a dispute over the Dr Martens Airware logo . Due to a lack of IP knowledge the agency was embroiled in litigation along with the client, and suffered significant time, effort and expense in the ensuing court battle. This could have been so easily avoided with the right documentation in place.

IP law essential

The role of IP law is therefore crucial in avoiding pitfalls, and positioning clients of agencies for maximum success. IP fits hand-in-glove with the creative process.

The workshops highlights the pitfalls. Then by simply offering IP services, or referring matters to an IP specialist at the appropriate time in the creative cycle, agencies are able to give their clients real help while absolving themselves of responsibility.

Contrary to popular belief the right time to refer clients is not after the creative exercise is concluded. The appropriate due diligence checks should be carried out at an early stage, because if what you intend to create or use infringes on a third party’s rights, the client has nothing worth protecting. All the effort taken in creating the identity is wasted.

The workshops help agencies to find alternatives to simply asking their client to consult their own lawyers. Many clients will not have lawyers or may never consult any lawyers because they do not appreciate the significance of doing so. The upshot is that they are at risk of using an identity that may cause problems for them down the line. That will impact their revenues, and could expose them to litigation. And it’s doubtful that a clause excluding liability in the agency’s terms would be legally effective anyway.

The next workshop is on 14 July from 3-5pm. It’s a small session for a maximum of 8 people to attend.

This session costs £40+VAT per person (or £25+VAT for early birds) and includes refreshments, as well as a copy of my book Intellectual Property Revolution.

To book go to EVENTBRITE NOW.

Relief for IP lawyers at this year’s State Opening of Parliament

bridge 3This year’s State Opening of Parliament has provided IP lawyers with some relief. Amidst prison reforms and other new legislative measures, Intellectual Property was on the agenda as the Queen introduced the Intellectual Property (Unjustified Threats) Bill on 18th May 2016.

Following a review of the controversial law on groundless threats of legal action in cases that involve patents, trade marks and designs, the government has begun plans to agree proposals that will ensure lawyers are exempt from liability when making threats on behalf of their clients.

IP lawyers will welcome news that recommendations powered through by Law Society’s Intellectual Property Law Committee are to be adopted. The Bill aims to lower the current hurdles that businesses encounter when caught in IP disputes.

The current provisions allow the recipient of an infringement letter to claim against the rights holder, as well as their legal advisor in some circumstances. This can create difficulties for businesses seeking to enforce their rights and has a reputation amongst practitioners as being unworkable and unjust.

The Intellectual Property (Unjustified Threats) Bill will provide some direction when distinguishing between the levels of a supply chain. The Bill will ensure that rights holders focus their assertions on the source of the suspected infringement and away from IP lawyers.

A draft Bill was published last October, in response to a long and widely-debated campaign by the Law Society’s Intellectual Property Law committee. The draft Bill was considered as ‘suitable and uncontroversial’ and is eagerly awaited by Intellectual Property practitioners.

The Bill is set to become law in the coming year and should make it easier for businesses to settle disputes outside of the courtroom. The proof shall be in the pudding.

Read more about how Intellectual Property Law could affect your business, or contact a member of our team on +44 0 20 7700 1414.

Calling fellow IP lawyers – meeting 11th February 6:30pm

I initially wrote on Jeremy Phillip’s IPKat blog here about wanting to organize a group meeting of sole practitioner IP law firms.  The idea was to discuss ways in which we might combine forces to share costs and resources so as to gain some of the benefits that larger law firms enjoy, while remaining small and niche.   This could give us all cost savings and consortia buying power.

There was quite a lot of interest from practitioners, and as a result I have now organized a meeting.  We will be holding our discussions over a relaxed meal in the private dining room of the Incognico Restaurant – see here for a map – on Wednesday 11th February 2009 from 6:30pm onwards.

If any sole practitioner IP/IT lawyers missed the original message on the IPKat and would like to attend, please email me Places are limited so please get in touch as soon as possible if you are interested in joining us.