Lockhart & Hastings is an Intellectual Properties Consultancy – specialising in Trade Marks, Registered Designs, Copyright, Patent Search and IP Common Law
With over 30 years experience working in Intellectual Properties, we can help you with both research and legal protection in the UK, Europe and beyond. As experienced specialists we can offer you insight on how to protect your ideas, words and designs.
We can help you with both research and legal protection
Lockhart & Hastings Ltd provide high quality Intellectual Property services covering all aspects of Trade Marks, Registered Designs, Copyright, Patent Searching and IP Common Law in the United Kingdom, Europe and internationally.
Whether you are an individual, a company or an overseas attorney, we are confident that we can provide the services you require efficiently, flexibly and cost-effectively. We are a dynamic, forward-looking firm with adaptability to suit individual client needs. We have a UK and international client base.
Your Trade Mark is a valuable asset – it’s important to get it right
A Trade Mark is like a badge of origin of the goods or services to which it is applied. Through its acquired reputation, it also becomes a badge of quality. Trade Marks are most commonly words or images (logos) or combinations of these, but they can also be shapes, sounds or scents.
Obtaining a registered Trade Mark in the UK or EU is a relatively quick and inexpensive process. We can also file internationally depending on your requirements.
A registered Trade Mark will not prevent someone copying your idea but it may;
(i) deter an offender with a warning that the Trade Mark is registered,
(ii) provide a cost-effective means of redress for such copying through the courts.
Registering your Trade Mark is relatively inexpensive set against the likely costs of taking Common Law actions where you have to prove the validity of your case – a registered Trade Mark does this for you. In that sense, registering a Trade Mark is best looked upon as a kind of insurance policy.
In defending your Trade Mark, whether it is registered or not, you may require IP (Intellectual Property) professionals to help you with monitoring and taking action when necessary. Also see our section on IP Common Law.
The UK IPO (Intellectual Property Office) encourages private applications; because of this, their Register is littered with Trade Marks of little worth. Usually, this is because the application does not adequately cover the goods or services provided. With the advent of the internet the Trade Mark field has become more complex but common pitfalls can be easily and inexpensively avoided by consulting IP professionals like ourselves from the outset.
Please see our FAQ section for a short video about Trade Mark registration and the benefits of professional advice.
Registered Designs can protect the specific look of an object ...
We have filed Registered Designs, in many countries across the world, but most commonly in the UK and the EU (Registered Community Design) and we are happy to advise on all aspects of this Intellectual Property.
Registered Designs can protect the distinctive design of an item, which is not eligible for Patent protection. This means for example that you probably have not invented a better cup, but your design is unique. Registered Designs are an easy and inexpensive way of gaining protection for these designs and they are mostly relevant to industrial or manufactured goods.
A UK Registered Design or a Registered Community Design (RCD) can protect you in the UK. Through a RCD you could extend your registered design rights to a number of other countries under The Hague Convention. Registered Designs are sometimes called ‘Industrial Designs’, ‘Design Patents’ or ‘Utility Models’.
The Community Design Directive of 1998 (98/79/EC) extended Registered Design rights into areas that might commonly be considered Trade Marks. It is important to note that they are not a cheaper form of Trade Mark as the extent and scope of the protection is very different.
We also provide Registered Designs searches, chiefly through the databases of the UK IPO, the EU IPO (RCD and DesignView) and WIPO (Hague Convention), since these are most relevant to the UK market. Other countries can be searched where there is a suitable database.
It’s not as simple as you think ...
Generally the public has only a vague understanding of Copyright and the law.
Copyright comes into being through the act of creating something original and it arises automatically. However, design rights, patents and trade marks may be stronger and more appropriate. The language of Intellectual Properties is complicated, so we help our clients understand it better.
In the UK, copyright comes under Common Law and generally it belongs to someone (but not necessarily the creator, for example, it may belong to their employer).
Copyright can exist as an image, a piece of writing, as music, video or film. Generally speaking, if you publish something original;
(i) that you haven’t created yourself, you should get the consent of the Copyright owner,
(ii) that you have created yourself, you can add the © symbol with your name and year.
However Copyright is complex – just because you create something original does not mean you necessarily own the Copyright. If you are having something original created for you (e.g. a logo) it is wise to ensure that you do own the Copyright.
There are Copyright solutions available in the UK and in other countries, but it is best we discuss your specific Copyright issues as they arise.
We are highly experienced searchers and specialists in our fields
Simply, a patent is for an invention, something novel. This may be an extension of something already known or a new application of it. Patents are granted for up to 25 years, renewable annually.
We are experienced Patent searchers. We conduct Patent searches using a range of databases or when appropriate we may use a specialist freelance patent searcher working in the field of the particular patent.
We are happy to advise on Patent matters but we do not file Patents as we are not Patent Attorneys. We offer professional advice and can refer you to a specialist Patent Attorney, working in the field of your query or convenient to your location, and with many years’ experience in the field we know many of these.
Most Patent Attorneys will give you an hour’s free advice on a prospective Patent, or you can book into a Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) monthly clinic. (www.cipa.org.uk) Depending on your budget, we may advise you to conduct your own preliminary search online or at the British Library as this may also inform the development of your patent.
IP Common Law
Our experience in information fields is invaluable in Common Law searching
The UK and Ireland are Common Law jurisdictions. Not all Trade Marks are registered and one that isn’t may be covered by Common Law. Therefore a comprehensive Trade Mark search should also cover Common Law sources.
Having a background in librarianship and information science, we are resourceful in the conduct of Intellectual Property searches outside of the mainstream Trade Mark & Patent literature. Obviously the British Library is most heavily used for this, but other collections might be tapped as relevant to a particular search (for example Imperial College offers open access to a wider range of textbooks than the 8-10 years available on the open shelves at the British Library).
For reasons of space we donated our substantial collection of British mail-order catalogues (dating from the early 1980s) to the National Art Library at the Victoria & Albert Museum when we moved out of London in 2008. These are invaluable in demonstrating the use of a Trade Mark or a particular design, and also in their invalidation. They included catalogues from firms such as Freemans, GUS, Kays, Littlewoods and Trafford’s amongst others. The British Library took our Argos catalogues to improve their existing collection.
We also carry out watch-searches against the Companies House database for a number of clients, enabling early action against potential trespassers on their IP rights.