Does Your business Have Valuable IPR And Are You Maintaining It?

Nash & Co




Austin Blackburn
Partner and Head of the Commercial Department
01752 664444


Austin Blackburn, Partner and Head of the Commercial Department at Nash & Co. Solicitors discusses Intellectual Property Rights.

IPR can take various forms in any business and proper protection can substantially increase the value of your business.  You should regularly consider and manage your IPR portfolio, including:

Patent: registered right usually for 20 years for novel non-obvious inventions capable of industrial application. Registration is territorial and grants monopoly rights in respect of that invention.  These have been worth (and infringement has cost) £millions to mobile phone companies recently.

Trade mark: a logo or other sign or gesture that is distinctive and non-descriptive and not identical to or confusingly similar with another’s mark.  They should be registered to provide monopoly rights in the relevant sector and again are territory specific. They can be renewed indefinitely and a properly protected brand can add significant value to a business.

Copyright: unregistered right that arises automatically. It is not a monopoly right as it only protects against copying, not independent similar creation, but can last up to 70 years from year of death of the creator (depending on the type of copyright).  This can be very relevant to software, artwork, proofs and databases.

Design right: registered and unregistered rights to protect the appearance of a novel distinctive 3D object. Can last up to 25 years in the UK and is important to things such as designer furniture equipment and ornaments (but not spare parts).

Confidential information: unregistered right in information that is of a confidential nature.  This can cover a lot of sensitive business information, such as finance models and customer lists, of fundamental value to a business.”

The cost of protecting your IPR is more than out-weighed by the value associated with this intangible business asset.

Austin is highly experienced in dealing with business sales and has a specialist interest in all matters concerning Intellectual Property Rights.  For further information contact him on 01752 664444 or email

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