IP Disputes – The Trade Mark Minefield

In today’s entrepreneurial age, the importance of intellectual property (IP) protection cannot be overstated. The increase in new businesses being incorporated and the growth of existing ones creates a complex landscape where clashes over trademarks, copyrights, and patents are becoming more common and the recent case involving the luxury good giant LVMH  highlights the challenges smaller companies face when larger entities oppose their IP applications.

This case, the details of which can be found here, is your typical David v Goliath battle. A Norfolk couple applied to register the trade mark LV Bespoke to protect its home and gardening business.  LVMH, perhaps unsurprisingly given the value of the brand, objected to the registration arguing that it was too similar to their mark and an attempt to ride on the coat tails of Louis Vuitton’s reputation. Usually at this stage the minnow would back down in the face of such opposition but L V Bespoke stood their ground and after 2 years and £15,000 in costs they won and succeeded in getting their mark registered.

This case matters because often smaller companies cave in to those with deeper pockets and expensive lawyers and it doesn’t come without cost. If a company is forced to change its name or pull a product from the market following an IP dispute, the costs can be devastating.

So, to avoid IP  disputes please consider the following points when creating and exploiting your IP:

Legal Guidance: It’s crucial to seek early legal advice from a qualified intellectual property attorney. They can guide you through the process, help you navigate potential objections, and provide valuable insights for a successful IP strategy.

Proactive Protection: Don’t wait until a dispute arises to think about IP protection. Registering trademarks and patents early in the business development process can be a proactive measure to prevent future conflicts.

Documentation: Keep detailed records of your IP creation and use, including dates, prototypes, design processes, etc. This documentation can serve as evidence in case of a dispute and strengthen your position.

IP Strategy: Develop a comprehensive IP strategy that aligns with your business goals. This may include licensing agreements, monitoring competitors’ activities, and actively enforcing your IP rights when necessary.

Regular Audits: Periodically review and reassess your IP strategy. This is especially important as your business evolves, launches new products, or enters different markets.

Take out IP insurance: This will level the playing field by funding any oppositions/litigation that arises. It will enable you to enforce your IP as your business grows

IP is a hugely important tool for adding value to a business but, unfortunately, the system is not perfect. The process of acquiring rights can be lengthy, complicated and expensive and often those with the deepest pockets are able to game the system most effectively. However, by seeking sound professional advice as early as possible and putting IP insurance in place, you too can use IP to protect what you  have worked so hard to create

For more information on how to obtain a quote for IP insurance, get in touch today or complete the form here

Great Patents Need Insurance

Sometimes you have to hold your hands up to the genius of humankind. A colleague was recently at a cricket match and saw a man carrying this multi cup beer holder and anyone who has had to carry multiple pints without this device will know what a life saver it is. No more having to walk away from the bar at 1mph, no more spillage and most importantly, no more fear of dropping the lot!

On further investigation, it appears the clever entrepreneur who invented this beauty has also taken steps to protect it by registering intellectual property, in this case a patent (see the drawing below). This is very sensible as I am sure we will soon be seeing this device in sports stadiums around the world.

So not to be left with a bad hangover, the next sensible step will be to buy a patent insurance policy to mitigate the risk of this device being copied.  Unfortunately, as with all successful IP, larger competitors are bound to want a piece of the action but a patent insurance policy would level the financial playing field and allow action to be taken to stop any copycats.

If you’d like to get a quote for patent insurance please head here to complete our short form and we’ll obtain a quote for you within two working days. The policies will cover the cost of enforcing rights against infringers and also defending claims that you have infringed others rights. Premiums start from around £80pm for UK cover.

Its vital cover is in place before any potential claims arise so don’t delay and complete our form today.