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Intellectual property is intangible property which is the result of cognitive work or effort. This property is capable of being bought, sold, transferred or gifted to a third party. A concept, system, idea, item, process, design or other such thing which has been worked out in theoretical or cognitive terms, can constitute intellectual property.

Intellectual property may have value and accordingly, it is important for it to be safeguarded and protected from unauthorised use or application. Concepts relating to intellectual property are often ventilated in the context of commercial disputes, however this does not mean that other legal principles may not also be involved. There are many areas in which an intellectual property dispute can be litigated. These include matters that fall under:

  • Copyright Litigation;
  • Trademarks Litigation;
  • Patent Litigation;
  • Personal Properties Securities Register Litigation.

A common dispute between parties dealing with intellectual property is which of those parties owns the property. This can involve principles of common law as well as equitable remedies, as there may be an issue of authorship or origin or questions of title transfer where there is little evidence to establish an incontrovertible case either way. Where there is a contract to assist in the determination of a conflict, inferences may need to be drawn from the conduct of the parties. Where a contract does exist, its terms and conditions may need to be interpreted. In these situations, the general principles of contract law may apply and an intellectual property lawyer with experience in civil litigation will have a deeper understanding of the details of the legal issues.

Often, intellectual property can come into existence when an individual is employed by another, or where that individual is discharging duties under a contract for another party. In these cases, there may well be a clause under the agreement that ownership of the intellectual property will revert to the employer or the principal. Nevertheless, it is not inconceivable that there may be a way in which valuable intellectual property which has been created by the person may be salvaged. This will depend on the terms of the contract and the circumstances under which the intellectual property came into existence.

The intellectual property litigation team at Navado is integrated with other practice area teams so that the relevant areas of practice are able to communicate and share information for the comprehensive prosecution of a case: whether it involves drafting application or statements of claim, cross-claims or defences, the civil litigation solicitors at Navado who work in the intellectual property field will be able to draw on the library of knowledge accumulated in the commercial litigation team, so that clients suing or being sued in intellectual property matters receive the highest level of litigation services. Additionally our diverse practice areas may allow our solicitors to further investigate any causes of actions which may be available to you in relation to privacy, confidentiality, criminal infringement of the Corporations Act 2001, Copyright Act 1968 or Trade Marks Act 1995.

Of particular importance may be Navado’s ability to further investigate potential grounds in conversion. If it is the case that your Intellectual Property has been illegally used, then you may have grounds for a case in conversion or additionally a case in corporate espionage. In relation to these matters, Navado may take the additional steps of further investigating claims in relation to these matters and to provide advice relating to conversion or corporate espionage in our advice.

If you are in dispute over the ownership or use of intellectual property, we recommend that you contact our office and arrange an appointment to see one of our Complex Disputes & Litigation Solicitors in our Sydney office. By appointment, we can also arrange a time for you to see one of our lawyers in one of our branch offices. For a complete listing please see our "Locations" tab.

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This webpage (and any material or wording appearing on this webpage) is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute any Legal Advice. It does not take into account your objectives, your instructions or all of the relevant facts and/or circumstances. Navado accepts no responsibility to any person who relies on the information provided on this website. We further refer you to our Disclaimer.

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