Ownership of IP
Intellectual Property (IP) rights establish ownership and rights to use intellectual property. You need to prove and establish your ownership rights and then defend them if you think they are being infringed. Once you own an IP right, you are responsible for monitoring the way it is used and protecting it against infringement.
Monitor and defend your rights
Once you own IP, you are responsible for monitoring the market to ensure you are not being infringed. If you are the victim of infringement it is then up to you to take the appropriate steps - an IP lawyer or attorney can assist you to determine if you are being infringed and the best way to deal with the situation. We are not in charge of monitoring IP infringement - this is your responsibility.
You need to monitor and safeguard your IP. This means letting others know you have a legal right to your IP and, if necessary, defending your rights through legal action. This is to ensure that only you can turn your ideas into a commercial reality.
This is why you'll see many products containing the ® symbol - this is the owner letting everyone know that they have a registered trade mark. Copyright owners do a similar thing by using the © symbol with their work, while many new products will have patent pending or the patent number displayed.
Don't wait for someone to infringe your IP.
Putting a strategy in place to deal with infringement before it happens should be part of your overall protection and commercialisation strategy.
If you find your IP is being copied or used by someone else without your permission, there are a number of actions you can take. Possibilities available to you can range from a letter of warning from you or your attorney - to court action. It is always best to seek professional advice.
Whatever action you do take, pursue it vigorously and make sure any person infringing on your rights knows you are serious about protecting your IP. Any delay could jeopardise your legal rights to take action.
Registration of a security interest over an IP right
A party may take an interest such as a mortgage over an IP right as security for a loan or other obligation. As of 30 January 2012, our registers are no longer legal security registers. All security interests registered against IP rights need to be recorded by the secured party on the national online Personal Property Securities Register to be valid.
Last Updated: 12/12/2012