Copyright, designs and databases
Historically this has been an area of law where the levels of protection have significantly varied from state to state. In recent years the European Union has attempted some harmonisation but this has often taken the form of the creation of new self-contained rights. As a result businesses now face a legal regime whereby in relation to any single design it may need to consider not just the law of copyright but no less than four different types of design right. The interaction and overlap between these different rights is complex, and the protection granted by each quite different.
In the case of databases both copyright and database rights may be relevant, with the exact scope of protection granted by database rights remaining somewhat uncertain.
Our practice covers a wide variety of copyright, database and design disputes and transactions. Our dispute resolution experience and expertise ranges from acting on one of the most complicated computer software copyright cases heard in the UK to date to cases involving copyright in works of art, designs and compilations, to registered and unregistered design cases involving car accessories and white goods.
We also frequently advise on contracts for the acquisition and exploitation of creative works, designs, computer software, databases, media rights and other publishing rights.
In addition, we have expertise and experience within the increasingly important area of digital rights management and copy protection technology.