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Copyright & Patents

Waterfront Law are a London based law firm who specialise in Intellectual Property, Copyrights law and work across many industries, including media, digital media, advertising, marketing, publishing and more. 

Intellectual Property: The team is well known for helping protect, manage, exploit, enforce and defend IP rights – dealing with both contentious and non-contentious work. 

Commercial Contracts: The team negotiates most types of commercial contracts, and is well known for its expertise within the IT/technology sector. Other areas of expertise include advising on data protection and in particular, GDPR. 

Corporate: The team advises on establishing businesses, joint ventures and mergers and acquisitions, but is best known for advising entrepreneurs and investors in relation to venture capital investments in early-stage technology companies. 

Employment: The team provides employment and HR expertise to a spectrum of businesses — from SMEs to multi-national employers and household brands.

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Own-it is a new service which offers free intellectual property (IP) advice for London’s creative people. Within your business or your practice, you’ve probably created a wealth of in-house ideas, designs, music, writing, images – in short, ‘intellectual property’ – which can make you extra money, as long as you give it the proper legal protection.  Own-it offers legal advice to help you solve your IP issues. To use this service you need to be a member of Own-it, so why not register for free now at Own-it

How does the service work?

Check to see if an answer to your query can be found in the information already on Own-it. They offer FAQs, factsheets, podcasts, articles and events on IP issues that are frequently faced by the creative industries. Search for information, read the article ‘Doing the Rights Thing‘  or watch the video ‘How not to get ripped off‘, which contains a guide to copyright, trade marks, design rights and patents.

The Intellectual Property Office is the official government body responsible for granting Intellectual Property (IP) rights in the United Kingdom. These rights include:

  • Copyright
  • Patents
  • Designs
  • Trade marks

The Intellectual Property Office can help you get the right type of protection for your creation or invention.

What is copyright?

Copyright applies to any medium. This means that you must not reproduce copyright protected work in another medium without permission. This includes, publishing photographs on the internet, making a sound recording of a book, a painting of a photograph and so on.  Copyright does not protect ideas for a work.  It is only when the work itself is fixed, for example in writing, that copyright automatically protects it. This means that you do not have to apply for copyright.  A copyright protected work can have more than one copyright, or another intellectual property (IP) right, connected to it.  For example, an album of music can have separate copyrights for individual songs, sound recordings, artwork, and so on.  Whilst copyright can protect the artwork of your logo, you could also register the logo as a trade mark.

Copyright can protect:

  • literary works, including novels, instruction manuals, computer programs, song lyrics, newspaper articles, etc
  • dramatic works, including dance or mime
  • musical works
  • layouts or typographical arrangements used to publish a work, for a book for instance
  • recordings of a work, including sound and film
  • broadcasts of a work
  • artistic works, including paintings, engravings, photographs, sculptures, collages, architecture, technical drawings, diagrams, maps and logos
  • You should only copy or use a work protected by copyright with the copyright owner’s permission.
  • What is a patent?
  • A patent protects new inventions and covers how things work, what they do, how they do it, what they are made of and how they are made. It gives the owner the right to prevent others from making, using, importing or selling the invention without permission.
  • What is a trade mark?
  • A trade mark is a sign which can distinguish your goods and services from those of your competitors. It can be for example words, logos or a combination of both.  You can use your trade mark as a marketing tool so that customers can recognise your products or services.
  • What is a registered design?
  • A registered design is a legal right which protects the overall visual appearance of a product in the geographical area you register it. The visual features that form the design include such things as the lines, contours, colours, shape, texture, materials and the ornamentation of the product which, when applied to the product, give it a unique appearance. You can also register a design showing the ornamentation alone e.g. a pattern to go on a product or a stylised logo.

DACS is a membership based organisation representing 36,000 fine artists and their heirs, in addition to 16,000 photographers, illustrators, craftspeople, cartoonists, architects, animators and designers, including some of the biggest names in contemporary visual arts. They provide a range of licensing services for copyright consumers seeking to license the individual rights of an artist. Licences for secondary uses of artistic works are administered under collective licensing schemes on behalf of all visual creators. DACS distributes these funds through Payback.

DACS also manages the Artist’s Resale Right on behalf of artists in the UK. The Artist’s Resale Right entitles an artist to a resale royalty each time their art work is sold by an auction house, gallery or dealer.  DACS is a not-for-profit organisation. They make an administrative charge on the revenue they receive on behalf of artists and visual creators in order to cover their operating costs.

Briffa is an award winning firm of lawyers based in London specialising in the business and law concerning a wide variety of industry sectors and in particular those who value their intangible assets – their intellectual property. Whatever your business, be it design, technology, entertainment, software development, publishing or internet they can help you add value to it so that you reap the rewards of the investment you have made in its creativity.

 help you protect, develop, make money from and enforce your intellectual property. They are expert in brand strategy and trademark portfolio management, innovation and invention, designs, copyright, image rights and trade secrets.  They put in place deals, company structures and strategies that give you a competitive edge and which increases the value of your business to you and to others.  They work with you to help grow your business and increase your market share.  They are happy to meet and explore how we can help you identify your intellectual property rights and realise your business potential at no cost to you.

ACID is a membership trade organisation, set up as a round table action group in 1996, by designers for designers. ACID is now a hard-hitting ‘not for profit’ trade organisation created to combat the growing threats of plagiarism in the design and creative industries. By helping its members to understand and protect their rights, ACID is intent on stamping out intellectual property rights abuse.

ACID provides an accessible, practical framework for those who believe that their IP rights have been infringed. By maintaining a high profile at exhibitions and trade shows, reinforced by the powerful ACID brand of protection, the organisation also functions as a strong deterrent, on-the-spot advice centre and mediation service. ACID’s objectives are:

  • To change the current culture that it is OK to steal ideas and free ride on another persons design equity.
  • To create a safer trading environment in order for creative industries to flourish.

via education, design protection, prevention and deterrence underpinned by support, both at grass roots and through expert intellectual property legal advisors, IP legal and membership hotlines. The ACID brand has become a powerful voice within the design community, a voice the organisation intends to be heard across boardrooms where directors would be appalled if anyone accused them of theft of their colleague’s watch or wallet but still think it is acceptable to steal ideas and products.