IP Basics- How can I avoid infringing IP?

Before you start to use any IP, you need to be sure it is free to use.

If you start to build your business with another’s IP, you can be guilty of infringement.

This can lead to prosecution amounting to heavy fines and maybe a custodial sentence.

The best way to check if your proposed IP is already being used is through an IP audit. This is a record of all IP a company owns.

You can also commission a search for IP such as trade marks which will check the register held at the UK Intellectual Property Office. However, this is not available for all types of IP.

Even in the general running of your business, you need to be aware of any IP you may be using without noticing. If you use any computer software, music or pictures that is not owned by you, you need to make sure you have their permission.

This can be done through a license which is an agreement between the two of you for the amount of time you can use their IP and for what fee.

You also need to ensure your employees are complying with IP law as it could affect you if they are committing an offence at work. You can do this by constructing an IP policy.

Lawdit can offer you advice and guidance if you believe you may be using another’s IP or want to create an IP policy, get in contact.

If you’d like to know more about this article please send an email to Ellis Sweetenham quoting the article title and any questions you might have, alternatively call the office number on 02380 235 979 or send an enquiry through our contact form.

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