Frequently Asked Questions about Intellectual Property

Intellectual property is a complex subject, which makes it difficult to know where to start. Here you can find answers to some of the most common questions we are asked. If you have any other queries or you'd like us to expand on something, please don't hesitate to contact us to speak to one of our experts.

  1. What can be registered as a trade mark?

    • Words;
    • Logos;
    • Slogans;
    • Sounds;
    • Colours;
    • Shapes;
    • Smells.
  2. What are common law rights?

    • Common law rights relate to the use of unregistered trade marks.
    • Even if your trade mark is NOT registered you may still be able to take action against someone who uses your mark on their goods or services without your permission
    • This practice is the common law of “passing off”.
  3. What is a design?

    • Definition: ‘A design is the ornamental or aesthetic aspect of an article. The design may consist of three-dimensional features, such as the shape or surface of an article, or of two-dimensional features, such as patterns, lines or colour’ (World Intellectual Property Organization).
  4. What is copyright?

    • Copyright is the set of exclusive rights granted to the creator of an original work (e.g. a piece of music, song lyrics, films, novels, photographs, paintings, web pages) including the right to copy, distribute and adapt the work.
    • These rights can be licensed, transferred and/or assigned.
  5. What is a licensing agreement?

    • A licensing agreement involves the transfer of intellectual and proprietary knowledge in return for royalty as revenue from one company or individual to another.
  6. What is an agreement?

    • An agreement is a legally binding contract made between two or more people.
    • An agreement sets out in writing how each party will assist the other.
    • Having agreements in place is particularly important if the relationship between parties breaks down.