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Intellectual Property

In today’s knowledge economy, a large part of the value of your business is based on intangible assets and goodwill. Your intellectual property plays a key role in obtaining a competitive advantage. A cohesive IP strategy, including both commercialisation and enforcement, will ensure you get maximum value from your portfolio. With 150 specialist lawyers in 33 countries, we understand your business needs and have worked with some of the best-known brands, from banks to tech and media companies, pharmaceuticals and FMCG companies. This industry-specific approach can help you realise your commercial goals.

The right brands will win the hearts and minds of your customers. The right patents will prevent others exploiting your ideas or provide a substantial barrier to market access. Copyright, know-how and designs also play a vital role. We focus on key sectors relevant to you such as lifesciences, automotive, machinery, manufacturing, consumer products, financial services and TMC. This means you get in-depth industry knowledge as well as legal expertise for the protection of your IP. If you are involved in a dispute, we can guide you through the litigation process.

01/06/2021
CMS In­tel­lec­tu­al Prop­erty Glob­al Bro­chure
The pan­dem­ic that will define 2020 has put many types of in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty in the spot­light – par­tic­u­larly, of course, in life sci­ences. Who will de­vel­op an ef­fect­ive vac­cine or vac­cines for Cov­id-19...
09/06/2021
Open secrets? Guard­ing value in the in­tan­gible eco­nomy
Some leaks can’t be fixed “Con­fid­en­tial in­form­a­tion is like an ice cube... give it to the party who has no re­fri­ger­at­or or will not agree to keep it in one, and by the time of the tri­al you have just a pool of wa­ter.” This, from the so-called Spycatch­er case (1987), ap­plies well to cor­por­ate as­sets: fail to store them cor­rectly and all you might have left is an ex­pens­ive mess.The con­sequences of even a minor ex­pos­ure of a trade secret can be huge. As this re­port re­veals, the pro­tec­tion of trade secrets is rightly re­cog­nised by most seni­or ex­ec­ut­ives as a pri­or­ity is­sue. But the re­search also re­veals gaps that leave com­pan­ies un­ne­ces­sar­ily ex­posed to risks. The top named threats – cy­ber­se­cur­ity at­tacks and em­ploy­ee leaks – res­on­ate with what we see im­pact­ing our cli­ents. In­creased home and re­mote work­ing is strain­ing se­cur­ity meas­ures and em­ploy­ee loy­alty. Ad­ded to this, an ‘in­nov­ate or die’ at­ti­tude in highly-com­pet­it­ive sec­tors can mo­tiv­ate new join­ers to ar­rive with ques­tion­able ma­ter­i­al from their pre­vi­ous em­ploy­er, or worse: out­right theft between com­pet­it­ors. But while it is easy to fo­cus on the lurk­ing threats from weakened cy­ber se­cur­ity and dis­gruntled em­ploy­ees – and they are im­port­ant – there are more routine ac­tions a com­pany can take to safe­guard its secrets than just up­dat­ing its IT sys­tems or the em­ploy­ee hand­book. Com­monly, those who most need our help already have a trade secrets policy but have not prop­erly im­ple­men­ted it in re­la­tion to the secret in ques­tion. Or the policy has not been up­dated to re­flect the in­tan­gible as­sets the busi­ness now owns. Or pro­tec­tion was taken for gran­ted.With trade secrets – which for many busi­nesses are stra­tegic­ally more im­port­ant than a pub­lic pat­ent port­fo­lio – it is al­ways cost­li­er and messi­er to find solu­tions after a theft or a leak. Identi­fy­ing the trade secrets and the threats posed to them, com­bined with rig­or­ous in­tern­al pro­cesses and well-draf­ted con­tracts, can help pre­vent such prob­lems from hap­pen­ing. Harder, but just as ne­ces­sary, is en­ga­ging hearts and minds in cor­por­ate cul­ture, to know why trade secrets are im­port­ant, why we are all are re­spons­ible for pro­tect­ing them, and what may hap­pen if we do not (to both the com­pany and the in­di­vidu­al). In our ex­per­i­ence, the busi­nesses with the strongest de­fences have not only thought stra­tegic­ally about their in­tan­gible as­sets and how best to pro­tect them but are also pre­pared for the worst. The trick to avoid­ing an as­set be­com­ing a crisis is to be wise be­fore the event.Tom Scourfield, Co-Head, In­tel­lec­tu­al Prop­erty Group, CMS

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16/06/2022
Only Fools and Char­ac­ters – can copy­right ex­ist in lit­er­ary char­ac­ters?
On 8 June 2022, the In­tel­lec­tu­al Prop­erty En­ter­prise Court (“IPEC”)  handed down its judg­ment in Shazam Pro­duc­tions Ltd v Only Fools The Din­ing Ex­per­i­ence Ltd & Ors [2022] EWHC 1379 (IPEC), ul­ti­mately...
14/06/2022
Spot­light on UK Design Law - Part 6 – ‘En­force­ment’
As ac­know­ledged by the UKIPO in its Call for Views, the UK has one of the most ro­bust and ef­fect­ive in­tel­lec­tu­al prop­erty re­gimes in the world. However, the UKIPO ap­pre­ci­ates that the cost of en­for­cing...
13/06/2022
Up­dated CMS Ex­pert Guide to Trade Secrets
From pat­ents to pro­grammes, designs to data, your most valu­able busi­ness as­sets can be the things you can’t put un­der lock and key. But what leg­al re­course do you have to pro­tect these in­tan­gible as­sets...
07/06/2022
CMS Ex­pert Guide to trade secrets
As a busi­ness, your most val­ued as­sets can be the things you can’t touch or see. In­tan­gible as­sets such as pat­ents, for­mu­las, soft­ware, designs and data are now driv­ing cor­por­ate per­form­ance. And in...
Comparable
07/06/2022
Spot­light on UK Design Law - Part 5 – ‘Fu­ture tech­no­lo­gies and com­puter-gen­er­ated...
The UKIPO re­cog­nises that de­vel­op­ments in tech­no­logy act as cata­lysts for in­nov­a­tion in the designs sec­tor. In its Call for Views, the UKIPO iden­ti­fied in par­tic­u­lar the im­pact of ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence...
01/06/2022
CMS Next
What’s next? In a world of ever-ac­cel­er­at­ing change, stay­ing ahead of the curve and know­ing what’s next for your busi­ness or sec­tor is es­sen­tial.At CMS, we see ourselves not only as your leg­al ad­visers but also as your busi­ness part­ners. We work to­geth­er with you to not only re­solve cur­rent is­sues but to an­ti­cip­ate fu­ture chal­lenges and in­nov­ate to meet them.With our latest pub­lic­a­tion, CMS Next, our ex­perts will reg­u­larly of­fer you in­sights in­to and fresh per­spect­ives on a range of is­sues that busi­nesses have to deal with – from ESG agen­das to re­struc­tur­ing after the pan­dem­ic or fa­cing the di­git­al trans­form­a­tion. We will also share with you more about the work that we are do­ing for our cli­ents, help­ing them in­nov­ate, grow and mit­ig­ate risk.To be able to provide you with the best sup­port, we im­merse ourselves in your world to un­der­stand your leg­al needs and chal­lenges. However, it is equally im­port­ant that you know who we are and how we can work with you. So, we in­vite you to meet our ex­perts and catch a glimpse of what is hap­pen­ing in­side CMS.En­joy read­ing this pub­lic­a­tion, which we will up­date reg­u­larly with new con­tent.CMS Ex­ec­ut­ive Team
31/05/2022
Spot­light on UK Design Law - Part 4 – ‘First mak­ing avail­able’ and sim­ul­tan­eous...
Pri­or to Brexit, the abil­ity to ob­tain auto­mat­ic design pro­tec­tion across all 28 EU Mem­ber States shaped the busi­ness mod­els and product launch strategies of many Brit­ish de­sign­ers. One of the most sig­ni­fic­ant...
26/05/2022
Is UK trade mark law meta­verse-ready? “Tar­get­ing” in the vir­tu­al world 
Just as with the rap­id emer­gence of the In­ter­net around the new mil­len­ni­um, the found­a­tion­al stages of the next ma­jor tech­no­lo­gic­al re­volu­tion – the meta­verse – may now be upon us. And as was the...
24/05/2022
Spot­light on UK Design Law: Part 3 – ‘Over­lap between copy­right and designs’
The UKIPO re­cog­nises that there is a lack of clar­ity on the ex­tent of over­lap between copy­right and design law, and how they should co-ex­ist. In par­tic­u­lar, the Call for Views notes the un­cer­tainty as...
20/05/2022
The ASA 2021 An­nu­al Re­port: more tech, more mon­it­or­ing, more fo­cus on harms,...
The Ad­vert­ising Stand­ards Au­thor­ity has pub­lished its 2021 an­nu­al re­port. The re­port sets out some of the ASA’s key pri­or­it­ies and re­cent ini­ti­at­ives, and high­lights its cur­rent fo­cuses on pro­act­ive...
17/05/2022
Giv­ing your ad­verts the roy­al treat­ment
As bunt­ing be­gins to ap­pear all over the coun­try, the UK pub­lic are look­ing for­ward to cel­eb­rat­ing the Queen’s Plat­in­um Ju­bilee (or at the very least to a four-day week­end). It is there­fore in­ev­it­able...
17/05/2022
Spot­light on UK Design Law: Part 2 - Sim­pli­fy­ing the designs sys­tem
The UKIPO re­cog­nises that the cur­rent design frame­work is highly com­plex, in­volving three dif­fer­ent types of un­re­gistered rights (two of which ori­gin­ate from EU law) in ad­di­tion to re­gistered designs...