Wynne-Jones IP’s Victor Caddy on Brexit, copycats and legal jargon

Victor Caddy
For those who may not know, who are Wynne-Jones IP and what can you offer designers and toy firms?
Wynne-Jones IP are a long established firm of Chartered and European Trade Mark, Design and Patent Attorneys, based in London, Cardiff, Cheltenham and Telford. We are not just any ordinary IP firm. Wynne-Jones IP provides its clients with the best possible service and gives them peace of mind when it comes to protecting IP assets.

Innovative designers and companies need to protect their brands and technologies by Intellectual Property (IP) but the world of trade marks, patents, copyright and design can be quite baffling. Sometimes it can be dressed up in jargon that is totally confusing. At Wynne-Jones IP, we demystify IP and provide jargon-free advice – just plain and simple, commercially savvy, advice.

With second to none knowledge spanning brands, products, inventions, technology, software, IT and process knowledge, Wynne-Jones IP are your safe pair of hands when it comes to protecting IP assets in the Toy and Game industry.

What’s the main mistake designers and companies make when going about protecting their IP?
In our experience the biggest issue is those who fail to protect the designs or their products at all. This gives them no course of retraction if another individual or company copies ‘their’ property or to licence them to third parties.

Similarly, those who aren’t experienced in IP can fail to give adequate protection or think about it too late.  The important thing to remember is that if you don’t protect yourself or your brand, you can end up losing money, and even having to spend in order to create some form of protection. Having the correct IP rights in place can determine the market value of a business and potentially create new revenue streams.

How big an impact will Brexit have on how designers protect their IP?
The impact for the UK will be enormous across all areas of IP protection.  Contracts and agreements will have to be re-drafted to separate the UK rights from the EU rights it is important to ensure all designs, patents and trade marks are thoroughly checked.

The practical implication for new registered rights is the simple need to register in the UK and also in Europe – if the business needs this additional protection.

As more and more toys and game become fully fledged brands, how can designers ensure their concept is protected as it takes on other forms?
Make sure that the scope of the IP protection is sufficiently broad at the start and this is where we can offer a full strategic service, particularly for start-ups who perhaps don’t understand what they should have in place and the risks in cutting corners or saving money.

Copyright and design right protection is not normally limited to specific industries like trade marks, so making sure that the trade mark registration covers the correct goods and services is important when considering long term commercial growth.

Issues around IP can seem quite a daunting prospect to a lot of designers and companies. How does Wynne-Jones IP look to make this process smoother?
Firstly, we don’t talk legal jargon. We like to create proper working partnerships with our clients (affordably) and clearly discuss the nature and value of each type of IP right which ultimately provides a commercially effective and financially viable strategy; the next 18 months will be particularly challenging for large companies with in-house teams who will have to re-work their multi-territory contracts as Brexit comes into play. Ensuring their contracts are drawn up to be UK specific and entirely separate to an EU contract will be paramount in ensuring on-going and adequate protection once the final break takes place.

Victor Caddy is a Trade Mark Attorney and Partner at Wynne-Jones IP.

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