Copyright as an intellectual property right is often both misunderstood and undervalued. Nearly all businesses have some form of intellectual property that is protected by copyright; the challenge is identifying the copyright protected works and understanding their value and how best to protect them.
Unlike some other intellectual property rights (such as trade marks) that have to be applied for, copyright protection applies automatically to:
- original literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works
- sound recordings, films or broadcasts; and
- typographical arrangements of published editions.
There are other criteria to be met for copyright protection (set out in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988), but once the basic criteria above are met, the protection subsists.
So what might be covered? It could be anything from advertising literature to HTML code or an employee handbook and once it’s established that copyright subsists in a work, it can then be protected in the event of infringement. Infringing activities range from copying the work (or parts of it), making an adaptation of the work or communicating the work to the public. All of which can be detrimental to a business.
If you would like to discuss copyright protected works that your business may have and how to protect them, then please get in touch to explore your options. If you are aware of an infringement of copyright and considering enforcing your rights, please talk to us about how we can help to implement a strategy to protect your work and secure a positive outcome.