Inventions and ideas in expert hands as pair join legal team [Legal Monitor Worldwide]
(Legal Monitor Worldwide Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) INVENTIVE Gloucestershire companies wanting to protect their product designs, technical processes, computer programmes or trademarks can now access specialist patent advice alongside their wider legal needs.
Cheltenham-based Harrison Clark Rickerbys solicitors is thought to be the first law firm in the region to offer the intellectual property expertise of two consultant patent attorneys as part of its team.
Experienced chartered and European patent attorneys Richard Bailey and Kate Lees, both of whom were previously partners with a leading national patent firm, began working with Harrison Clark Rickerbys in early October.
Whereas intellectual property services are usually only available through specialist providers – often in London and major cities – Harrison Clark Rickerbys says the new service will enable business clients in the region to access legal advice on complex matters such as patents, industrial designs, design rights and copyright, as easily as solving their commercial, corporate, employment and other legal needs.
Jon Whitbread, partner and head of finance, insolvencies and recoveries at Harrison Clark Rickerbys, said: "Richard and Kate's arrival marks a significant expansion in our intellectual property capabilities, both inside and outside the law courts. Each of them has many years of experience that will add immense value for our business clients, as well as opening new doors for our firm."
Both attorneys also bring specialist knowledge in particular fields. Richard Bailey is an expert in handling UK and international patent applications for multinationals, smaller companies and individual inventors. His experience also encompasses a range of technological sectors including mechanical engineering, electronics, defence and software.
Kate Lees is an expert in intellectual property law who has acted for several higher educational establishments, as well as dealing with mechanical, chemical and biochemical inventions; from IP audits to patent applications, oppositions and appeals. She will also support the firm's health and social care team.
She said: "Don't be tempted to put anything on the market before you have put in a patent application. Also look seriously at an intellectual property audit. All businesses have some kind of IP need, and this can help identify what needs protecting, as well as a pre-emptive strategy to protect it."
Richard Bailey said: "If you have come up with a new idea, make sure you speak to a patent attorney and seek advice regarding whether it is possible – or sensible – to seek protection for it. Also, keep your invention to yourself.
"To get a valid patent, the invention must be new when the patent application is filed, so talking to someone about the idea before filing your application could mean you miss out on the opportunity altogether."
¦ What is a patent? A patent is a right granted by the Government to inventors (or more usually, companies) in return for disclosure of an invention. In return for the public disclosure of a new and unobvious invention, the state gives the patent owner the right to stop other people using that invention for a certain period of time – up to a maximum of 20 years. Inventions can vary from simple gadgets to mechanical, chemical, electronic or microbiological processes and apparatus.
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