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Copyright & Database Rights

Copyright and other intellectual property rights are valuable assets and it is important to your business that they are properly protected.

It is good practice to identify all of your intellectual property, which could include trade secrets, designs and trademarks as well as copyrights and patents, and take steps to protect them. However, identifying and safeguarding your intellectual property is not always straightforward.

At Glanvilles we can ensure that your copyrights and databases are secure with the right form of intellectual property protection. We can assist with copyright and database licensing and other options for commercially exploiting your intellectual property.

In the event of any infringement of your IP, we can offer pragmatic advice about your options, including seeking an amicable resolution that protects your interests where possible, as well as court representation where needed.

Our commercial team includes experts in intellectual property law who represent clients in respect of copyright and database rights across Chichester, Fareham, Havant and the wider Hampshire and West Sussex area.

Contact us for copyright and database rights legal advice

If you would like to discuss how your intellectual property rights can be protected, we will be happy to help.

Contact your local branch in ChichesterFareham or Havant or fill in our simple online enquiry form for a quick response from one of our intellectual property solicitors.

Why choose our copyright and database rights solicitors?

The Glanvilles client service promise

At Glanvilles, we always do all we can to ensure our clients have an excellent service from us. You will have your own personal lawyer who will be responsible for your case and who will work proactively to move the process forward as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.

When you use our commercial law services, we promise:

  • Our staff will be friendly, respectful and attentive.
  • Your concerns will be listened to, your questions answered, and your options explained in plain English.
  • The cost of dealing with your requirements will be made clear to you from the outset.
  • We will answer your phone calls and emails promptly.
  • We will keep you regularly updated at all times.

Copyright and database law FAQs

What does copyright protect?

Copyright is one of the most well-known types of intellectual property. It protects the owner of the work from having that work copied or reproduced.

It arises automatically on the creation of a qualifying work, which must be original. Protected works can be divided into two classes, as follows:

Authorial works

  • Literary works
  • Software
  • Musical works
  • Artistic works

Entrepreneurial works

  • Films
  • Broadcasts
  • Sound recordings
  • Typographical published editions

How long does copyright last in the UK?

Copyright lasts for 70 years after the death of the creator in respect of most written, musical and film works, although it is only 50 years for some broadcastings.

What happens if your copyright is breached?

A breach of copyright, usually referred to as an infringement, occurs when someone uses copyrighted work without the consent of the owner. This could be by any of the following methods:

  • Copying the work
  • Issuing it to the public, whether free or by selling it
  • Renting or lending it out
  • Performing it or showing it to the public
  • Adapting the work
  • Making the work available online

How can you avoid copyright infringement?

Copyright automatically exists when a unique work is created, however you can also choose to mark and register it if you wish.

Displaying a notice and using the copyright symbol © can help put the message across that you are aware of the existence of your intellectual property and may deter anyone contemplating infringing your rights.

There is no official copyright register in the UK, although a number of bodies exist where you can deposit a copy of your work with notice that it is copyrighted.

It is important to be able to show that you created the work and when you created it so that, if an infringement arises, you have evidence of your ownership of the work. As well as a copy of the finished work, you should keep records of the process of creating it. You can also include footprints or watermarking in the finished work to identify it as yours.

What is the difference between copyright and trademark?

A trademark is something that identifies a product as being from a particular source. It can be a word, slogan, logo, shape, colour or sound.

While copyright protects those who create works and the work itself, a trademark protects a business name, product names and brand identity.

Copyright comes into existence automatically, while a trademark needs to be registered. If you wish to register a trademark you will have to choose the appropriate class to register it into. You will also need to ensure that it is not too similar to any trademark already in existence.

For the trademark to remain in force it must be in use in commerce, fees must be paid to maintain the trademark and it must not become generic.

What is the difference between a patent and copyright?

A patent protects an invention and should be applied for from the government’s Intellectual Property Office.

It covers a range of subjects including machinery, electronics, new chemical compositions, pharmaceuticals and processes.

It must be genuinely new, so if you want to register a patent you should carry out a thorough search first to see if your idea already exists.

You should ensure that all of your work is kept confidential, at least until your patent has been granted. If you do need to disclose anything, you should ensure that a sound confidentiality agreement is in place first.

We can assist you with this and with your application for a patent to ensure that you receive protection for your work as soon as possible.

Who owns the copyright on work for hire?

Generally, copyright protects the person who created the work, however when it is work for hire and an employee carries out the work during the scope of their employment or the work has been commissioned, then the employer or person commissioning the work will own the copyright unless there is a written agreement to different effect.

If you are having copyrighted work prepared for your business by an employee, it is important to make sure that it is properly protected and that your rights to it cannot be challenged. We can examine your employment contracts to ensure that the work is covered and that the copyright will belong to you or your business.

Can a database be copyrighted?

A database is often a valuable business asset that has taken a substantial amount of time, effort and money to put together. It could be a mailing list, customer list, supplier list or list of contact details and it could be electronic or in paper form.

It is legally defined as a collection of independent data arranged in a systematic or methodical way and it is protected under the law of copyright as well as the Copyright and Rights in Databases Regulations 1997 (the Regulations).

Rights of protection arise automatically on creation of the database.

How do you protect database rights?

Database rights can be infringed by the extraction or use of all or substantial parts of a protected database without the owner’s consent.

Copyright is not considered necessary, as it does not add to the database right provided under the Regulations.

Rights are generally protected by taking action against any infringement as well taking precautions to keep the information as secure as possible.

Contact us for copyright and database rights legal advice

If you would like to discuss how your intellectual property rights can be protected, we will be happy to help.

Contact your local branch in ChichesterFareham or Havant or fill in our simple online enquiry form for a quick response from one of our intellectual property solicitors.