The World Intellectual Property Office defines IP as 'creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; design; and symbols, names and images used in commerce'. Broadly, the aim of IP law is to cultivate an environment in which creativity and invention can flourish. Protection of IP rights means those that invest time and resource in creating and developing IP can reap benefit from their investment. By registering (where necessary), maintaining and enforcing IP rights, a rights holder can prevent people stealing or copying valuable assets such as: brand names and logos; inventions; design and look of products; written content; photographs and artwork. In the UK, intellectual property rights are registered with the Intellectual Property Office(IPO) though there are other entities which register rights at an EU or international level.
IP owners should be vigilant when it comes to protecting their rights and always consider action when they become aware of IP infringement. Often, time will be of the essence because the infringing acts may be causing the right holder to lose revenue. In the UK, IP infringement claims are heard in the Chancery Division of the High Court or, for less complex and lower value claims, the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC), a specialist list within the Chancery Division.
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