In the early stages of your project it is vital that, if any discussion regarding your concept is necessary, it is kept confidential under a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). The release of information into the public domain, without adequate protection, could give others the opportunity to exploit your innovation by releasing it to market before yourself, and could also prevent any IP applications from being granted. Before starting any discussions with yourself about your project, we will provide you with an NDA to sign.
As part of our design process, we offer patent support via our trusted network of patent lawyers who can advise you on methods that exist that will protect the IP of your project. We highly recommended that you let us help you investigate both the existing and future patents that will affect your product as you could end up with a fully developed product that you cannot sell!
A registered design allows the owner to prevent anyone from copying the external form and aesthetics of the product. This does not apply to any technical aspects of the product.
Copyright is an automatic right, which applies to all forms of ‘art’ and, within Europe, no official forms need to be filed. Copyright offers a limited level of protection for your investment.
A trademark protects a recognisable symbol, logo or name for a specific ‘class’ of goods or services. Provided they are in a different, unconnected class, others can register identical or similar marks, such as Swan matches and Swan electrical.
A patent granted gives the owner the ability to prevent others from manufacturing, importing or retailing their invention, within the geographical territory with which the patent has been applied, without prior authorisation. It protects the functional aspects of the product or system as well as how it works. A patent can only last a maximum of 20 years, and in the UK, after four years, annual renewal fees apply.