At the start of your project it may be necessary to conduct intellectual property (IP) searches. Understanding any existing IP early on in the design process will minimise infringement risks and unwanted legal challenges once your product is launched. Our team have the capacity to generate original intellectual property that has an inherent value, this IP can be protected using the following methods:
Patents can be used to protect the way something works; what it does; how it does it; what it is made from and how it is made. If a product is successfully protected by a patent, it will enable the owner to take legal action against anyone making, using, importing or selling the product without their permission. Patents are quite possibly the most expensive form of intellectual property, not only due to the direct cost of processing a patent but also the cost of enforcement if infringed. However, a granted patent does act as a deterrent against others wishing to copy an invention. Patent fact sheets can be accessed by visiting the Intellectual Property Office (IPO).
This is a cost effective way of protecting your product design. It can be used to protect: appearance, shape, decoration and configuration. Filing for a registered design with the IPO can cost as little as £50, with similar systems available in other countries, and the resulting rights can be used to stop not only identical designs but ones which look highly similar. This approach allows you to prevent products reaching the market that aim to mislead the consumer by trying to mimic design features that have a strong visual identity.
This is an automatic right that protects your design for 10 years after it was first sold or 15 years after it was created, whichever is earliest. This protection is limited to 3 years when operating in the European Union. Like a registered design, automatic design rights only apply to the shape and configuration of an object. If you believe your design has been infringed within the allowable time-frame, you will need to demonstrate the date it was created. This can be achieved by filing signed versions of your engineering drawings or photos of your product with a Solicitor or IP Attorney. Even though Design Rights are common law, there would be a cost associated with defending it in court.
Non Disclosure Agreement
We realise that your product idea is confidential, which is why we sign a mutual non disclosure agreement (NDA) at the beginning of every project. This gives you the confidence that we will not discuss your product with any third parties during its development. All of our staff, partners and suppliers have also signed an NDA as part of our company policy. You can download a copy of this document by clicking here.