Intellectual property day - reform in legislation

Tuesday marked World Intellectual Property Day (IP) aiming to increase understanding of what IP really means, and demonstrating how it supports products and technological innovations that helps to shape businesses.

Intellectual property lawyer, Tony Catterall believes that many businesses could dramatically benefit from a radical reform in intellectual property law.

The economic recession has heightened the issue of plagiarism and it is an increasing problem which Tony and his team at Taylors Solicitors have been battling for the past 20 years.

Tony, Partner at Taylors said: “IP is a major asset to any organisation but particularly to SME’s and owner managed businesses. In the past it had been difficult and costly for smaller businesses to enforce or defend their designs.

“The potentially huge cost implications involved in protecting their designs was significant enough to prevent firms fighting anyone unlawfully copying them.”

This IP reform makes it easier for anyone to protect their IP, through new costs and procedural rules in the Patents County Court aimed at helping SME’s. Trials under this new regime are expected to last no more than two days and costs are capped.

Tony explained: “This streamlining comes as there will be no formal witness statements and cross examination will be limited. The whole process will be driven by the Court to ensure speedy and economical dispute resolution.”

Taylors have recently acted on behalf of Hertfordshire-based Ashley Wilde and successfully forced Primark into a settlement over a copyright infringement of Ashley Wilde’s well known and highly successful ‘Boulevard’ design. Tony has also secured a favourable settlement for Derbyshire-based Belfield Furnishings in a copyright dispute with Global Textiles (UK) Limited.

“It is pleasing that these claims were brought to an early and successful conclusion for our clients Ashley Wilde and Belfield. Reputable design houses and converters need to follow their example and stand up to infringers rather than turning a blind eye.

Taylors Solicitors specialise in intellectual property law supporting companies on patent and copyright issues, industrial designs and trademarks, with particular specialisms in the manufacturing and home furnishings industries, acting for household names such as Graham & Brown and Netlon / Tensar.

Tony Catterall created legal precedent over ten years ago in the House of Lords when acting for Designers Guild, setting the factors for determining the degree of similarity required for copyright infringement of furnishing designs. This case has assisted many clients of Taylors who invest heavily in their design studios to obtain protection from being copied.

Tony Catterall