Joint ownership of intellectual property rights
Produced in partnership with Jessica Stretch
Joint ownership of intellectual property rights

The following IP practice note Produced in partnership with Jessica Stretch provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Joint ownership of intellectual property rights
  • Implied joint ownership—basic principles
  • Patents
  • Copyright
  • Designs
  • Trade marks
  • Implied joint ownership—risks and problems
  • Joint ownership agreements—key consideration
  • Scope of project
  • Ownership
  • More...

IP COMPLETION DAY: 11pm (GMT) on 31 December 2020 marks the end of the Brexit transition/implementation period entered into following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. At this point in time (referred to in UK law as ‘IP completion day’), key transitional arrangements come to an end and significant changes begin to take effect across the UK’s legal regime. This document contains guidance on subjects impacted by these changes. Before continuing your research, see Practice Note: What does IP completion day mean for intellectual property?

When parties collaborate on creative projects or research and development, complex questions arise about the ownership of any resulting intellectual property (IP).

Joint ownership of IP may seem like a straightforward and fair solution where parties have worked together and cannot distinguish the output of their respective efforts. However, where parties fail to give careful consideration as to how their jointly created IP will be owned, organised and exploited, there are legal pitfalls, practical difficulties and obstacles to full commercialisation of the IP. In the vast majority of cases it is preferable for parties to enter into an express agreement on joint ownership of IP rather than relying upon the default legal position.

This Practice Note provides an overview of the law on joint ownership of IP (also known as co-ownership, used interchangeably in this note):

  1. Implied joint ownership—basic principles

  2. Implied joint

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