Intellectual property law is the area of law that governs the various forms of ownership in real property and personal property. Intellectual property refers to legally protected claims to resources, such as land and personal property, including intellectual property. Property can be exchanged through contract law, and if property is violated, one could sue under tort law to protect it.
As for Europe, the European Union does not have one system of intellectual property law. Each member state has its own intellectual property law. However, European Union internal market law, with its freedom of goods, services, capital and persons, has an increasing impact on national property law. More and more the question is raised if a European property law could be developed.
Having the right type of intellectual property law helps you to stop people stealing or copying:
- The name of your products or brands
- Your inventions
- The design or look of your products
- The things they write, make or produce.
And also copyright, patents, designs and trademarks are all types of intellectual property law. Normally, you can automatically get some types of protection. But you would have to apply for the others.
What counts as intellectual property law? Intellectual property is something that you can create using your mind – for example, a story, an invention, an artistic work or a symbol. So, you own intellectual property if you created it and it meets the requirements for copyright, a patent, or a design, bought intellectual property rights from the creator or a previous owner, or have a brand that could be a trademark, for example, a well-known product name.
Typically, intellectual property law refers to an intangible property right which is enjoyed by law after the engagement in intellectual creative conducts, which cover a range of intangible property rights: patent, copyrights, and trademark, design right and an indication of the original. There are several different forms of intellectual property rights available in the United Kingdom, each with its own formality, level of protection, and duration period. It is crucial that any individual who create a product, or who believes that they would benefit through protecting their intellectual property ensures that they follow the correct procedure. Obviously, this requires having at least some basic information about the available rights to pursue.
Intellectual property law covers the different kinds of your creation which may be Copyright, Trademarks, Patents and Design Rights.
- Copyright applies to work that is recorded in some way; rights exist in items such as literacy, artistic, musical and dramatic work as well as films, sound recordings and typographical arrangements. It gives the author specific rights in relation to the work, prohibits unauthorized actions, and allows the author to take legal action against instances of infringement or plagiarism.
- A trademark can be a name, word, slogan, design, symbol or other unique device that identifies a product or organization. Trademarks are registered at a national or territory level with an appointed government body and may take anywhere between 6 and 18 months to be processed.
- Design rights may be subject to both copyright and design rights. They may also be registered in a similar way to patents.
- Patents apply to industrial processes and inventions, and protect against the unauthorized implementation of the invention. Patents are grants made by national governments that give the creator of an invention an exclusive right to use, sell or manufacture the invention. Like trademarks, parents are registered at a national or territory level with an appointed government body. Patents typically take two or three years to be granted.
Allen and Overy LLP
Allen and Overy LLP is an international law firm. It is a member of the UK’s Magic Circle of leading law firm. It is a member of the UK’s Magic Circle of leading law firms. In 2019, Allen and Overy advised on more transactional deals than any other law firm in the world and was one of two firms to have surpassed the USD 1 trillion mark in terms of deal value, totaling USD 1.16 trillion USD. As of 2019, Allen and Overy is the world’s tenth largest law firm by revenue.
The original founders of Allen and Overy were law’s original odd couple, the former tall, dark and handsome, the latter a rather less imposing figure. According to the official history of Allen and Overy, they may not even have been particularly good friends, but the law firm they created endured to become what is now recognized as one of London’s “magic circle”.
The intellectual property team at Allen and Overy LLP attracts praise for its outstanding ability, client awareness and total commitment to the cases it handles. The group assists with a combination of contentious and commercial matters relating to the full range of IP rights. Recent work highlights include representing Huawei in Conversant’s high-profile claim for a declaration that it has offered FRAND terms relating to its SEP portfolio, as well as acting for Eli Lilly in its appeal to the Supreme Court against an order for the revocation of its patent for its Tadalafil product.
Global head of IP, litigator David Stone, has a particular experience in EU design law, while Jim Ford heads the commercial IP practice. Other names to note include patent litigator Mark Ridgway, who focuses on the telecoms, pharmaceuticals and biotech industries; life sciences and consumer products patents litigator Marc Doring; Mark Heaney, who has expertise in the hi-tech sector, and life sciences sector specialist Marjan Noor, who ‘brings a unique combination of client care and detailed involvement to a case’. Nicola Dagg departed to Kirkland and Ellis International LLP.
Bird and Bird LLP
Bird and Bird is an international law firm with a focus on helping organizations being changed by technology and the digital world. They have over 1,300 lawyers in 29 offices across Europe, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and North America.
Bird and Bird LLP’s intellectual property team has broad capabilities across the full range of rights, with a strong reputation for patent and trade mark disputes in the technology, communications, life sciences, and media and entertainment sectors. The team recently represented Actavis PTC and Actavis UK before the Supreme Court in a revocation action against two Eli Lily patents relating to the erectile dysfunction drug, Tadalafil; and acted for Merck in a trade mark dispute against Merck Sharp and Dohme relating to the user of the word Merck. Katherine Stephens, who handles patent litigation in the electionic, computer technology and engineering sectors; and Robert Williams, who focuses on multi-jurisdictional patent litigation and trade secrets disputes, jointly head the practice. The team also includes patent litigator Morag MacDonald, Peter Brownlow, who is a key name for trademark, copyright and design law; Richard Vary, who focuses on standard-essential patent litigation; Mark Holah, who handles brand protection instructions, and litigator Ewan Grist. Eleanor Root was promoted to the partnership, while Graham Smith is now of counsel.
Bristows is a full-service commercial, law firm, particularly known for its technology and intellectual property work. In January 2008, the firm relocated from Lincoln’s Inn Fields to new City Offices on the first two floors of 100 Victoria Embankment, London (also known as Unilever House). In May 2018, the firm opened its first international office in Brussels.
Bristows LLP has ‘a tremendous amount of knowledge and expertise’ in trade mark and design portfolio management, advertising and marketing, sponsorship arrangements and other commercial ventures. The practice has a niche specialty working with major advertising and publishing houses such as the WPP Group, the Financial Times and Guardian News and Media. On the advertising side, Paul Jordan is experienced in multi-platform advertising clearance, regulatory matters, advising on influencer and promotion agreements and defending against Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) complaints, such as defending Gtech in a high-profile comparative advertising complaint brought by Dyson. Trade Mark attorney Ian Gruselle is a soft IP specialist and leads the management of worldwide and European trade mark (EUTM) portfolios. Design expert Simon Clark focuses on copyright and design rights, database rights, trade marks, passing off and domain names. Also of note are Paul Walsh, ‘an excellent all-round brands expert’; Jeremy Blum, who leads on the contentious IP side; and associate Andy Butcher.
With specialisms in the technology and life sciences sectors, the intellectual property team at Bristows LLP provides ‘a first-class service at a real-world cost’ and clients praise it as ‘the best all-round IP team in the UK’. The group has brad expertise and ‘excels not only in UK IP litigation but also in pan-European IP matters’. Brian Cordery and the ‘hugel experienced’ Myles Jelf, who ‘successfully brings first-class strategy and oversight to cases, whilst inspiring and harnessing the abilities of the firm’s fantastic associates’, jointly head the patent litigation team, while Matthew Warren, Simon Clark and Ian Guselle lead the commercial IP team, brands practice and trade mark portfolio group respectively. Other name to note include Andrew Bowler and Robert Burrows, who handle a range of contentious IP matters; telecoms and high-tech patent litigator James Boon; Liz Cohen, Dominic Adair and Gemma Barrett who focus on life sciences patent litigation; Richard Pinckney, who acts in IP disputes in the TMT, engineering and electronics sectors; and brands expert Jeremy Blum.
Powell Gilbert LLP
Powell Gilbert is a specialist intellectual property law firm with one of the largest, most innovative and highly regarded IP litigation and advisory teams in the United Kingdom. With extensive litigation experience and lawyers who have strong scientific and technical backgrounds, the firm is uniquely positioned to address complex and commercially critical IP matters.
The intellectual property team at Powell Gilbert LLP is recognized for its strength in patent litigation, but also has brand protection expertise and trade mark and copyright experience. The group’s sector expertise encompasses the life sciences and biotechnology, telecoms and electronics, chemicals, engineering, energy, consumer goods and media and entertainment industries. In recent high-profile matters, the group defended actavis against patent infringement allegations brought by Warner-Lambert relating to the use of Pregabalin, and represented Huawei in high-profile standard essential patents litigation including FRAND elements. The ‘absolutely stand out’ Penny Gilbert heads up the practice and focuses on patent litigation in the life sciences sector, while Simon Ayrton leads on trade mark and copyright matters. Name partner Tim Powell specializes in multi-jurisdictional litigation, particularly relating to patents; Ari Laakkonen has telecoms and technology sector expertise, and Alex Wilson handles strategies for exploiting and enforcing IP rights across Europe. Peter Damerell and Bethan Hopewell are also key names for IP litigation focusing on the technology and life sciences sectors respectively.
Gowling WLG is a multinational law firm formed by the merger of Canada-based Gowlings and UK-based Wragge Lawrence Graham and Co. in February 2016, in the first multinational law firm merger co-led by a Canadian firm. Gowling WLG moves ranks at number 16 in the Lawyer UK 200 2019. On the list of the largest law firms by revenue, Gowling WLG ranked as the highest revenue producing firm in Canada and 74th in the world in 2017.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
The intellectual property team at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is commercially focused and able to provide concise advice under pressure and combines substantial commercial IP expertise, spanning transactions, projects, risk management and strategic advisory work, with notable strength in patents trademarks and copyright disputes. Practice head Joel Smith handles a range of contentious and non-contentious matters, with particular experience across the consumer, retail, media, technology, agribusiness and energy sectors, while global head of intellectual property Mark Shillito focuses on the life sciences, TMT and consumer goods industries. Other names to note include pharmaceutical patent litigators Sophie Rich and Sebastian Moore and hi-tech patent expert Andrew Moir.
Hogan Lovells International LLP
Hogan Lovells International LLP is an American-British law firm co-headquartered in London and Washington. It was formed on May 1, 2020 by the merger of the American law firm of Hogan and Hartson and the British law firm Lovells. Hogan Lovells has around 2,800 lawyers working in more than 40 offices in the United States, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
Hogan Lovells attracts praise as ‘one of London’s patent litigation powerhouses’ according to clients it is ‘very experienced at running telecoms patent disputes, which include FRAND issues’ but also has experience assisting clients across the life sciences, consumer good and automotive sectors. Practice head Paul Brown is highlighted as ‘the pre-eminent mobile phone litigator in the UK’. Daniel Brook is ‘the sort of person you would want to defend a difficult case’ in the life sciences sector, and ‘fantastic tactician’ Stephen Bennett’ brings a steady hand to the tiller in any complex multi-jurisdictional technology case’. ‘Standout’ counsel Emma Fulton is another key name to note for patent litigation in the life sciences and electronics industries, while Sahira Khwaja is highlighted for brand protection matters in the consumer goods and TMT sectors.
Taylor Wessing LLP
Taylor Wessing LLP is an international law firm with 28 offices internationally. The firm has over 300 partners and over 1000 lawyers worldwide. The company was formed as a result of a merger of the British law firm Taylor Johnson Garrett and the German law firm Wessing and Berenberg-Gossler, retaining the first name of each.
The ‘knowledgeable, personable and efficient’ team at Baker McKenzie has a breadth of expertise across brand protection matters, patent litigation and transactional advice, with particular experience in the consumer goods and retail, TMT, healthcare and industrial sectors. The team also benefits from a strong media and technology practice, led by Ben Allgrove, which handles copyright and online provider liability issues. Practice head Michelle Blunt assists clients with a range of IP transactions, while recently promoted partner Jessica Le Gros leads the trademark team. Other names to note include Michael Hart, who handles soft IP matters, and patent litigator Hiroshi Sheraton, who focuses on the healthcare and life sciences sectors.
CMS Cameron McKenna Nabaro Olswang LLP is one of the largest law firms in the world and is structured as group of preexisting law firms. CMS Legal Services EEIG is a European economic interest grouping of law firms, which was established with the objective to create a professional multi-jurisdictional legal and tax service organization, headquartered in Europe. CMS currently has 4,800 legal and tax advisers in more than 40 countries.