It’s your responsibility to defend your intellectual property (IP) and to take action if someone’s used it without permission (known as ‘infringement’).
Examples of IP infringement include when someone:
- uses, sells or imports your patented product or process
- uses all or some of your work under copyright without your permission
- makes, offers or sells your registered design for commercial gain
- uses a trade mark that’s identical or similar to one you’ve registered
You can take the following steps.
- Get the other party to stop using your IP or come to an agreement with them, eg license your IP.
- Use mediation or another type of dispute resolution.
- Take legal action if you can’t resolve the dispute by other means.
You may want to get help from an IP professional, eg a solicitor. The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) can also help.
Report IP crime
It can be a criminal offence to copy or use copyright material and registered trade marks without permission.
Report suspected IP crime to Trading Standards by contactingCitizens Advice.
You can also report it anonymously through:
You can pay an intellectual property (IP) professional (eg a solicitor) for legal advice and to contact the party that you’re in dispute with.
Find legal representation through:
Contact the Intellectual Property Office (IPO)
You can contact IPO for:
- an opinion on whether your patent or supplementary protection certificate is being infringed – it costs £200
- to start legal proceedings over some types of IP dispute
- general advice
If someone is using your IP without your permission you can contact them and ask them to stop.
You can be sued for making unjustified threats. You may want to seek legal advice before contacting the other party.
Make a deal
You can offer to make a deal with the other party, which is usually cheaper and quicker than going to court.
Read the guidance on how to license, sell, mortgage and market your:
You can also come to a coexistence agreement with someone who has a similar trade mark.