Infringing Others IP

It is not compulsory to protect your own Intellectual Property Rights. However, it is imperative that you are fully aware and respectful of the Intellectual Property Rights of others. Therefore, before you choose your company name or brand or place a new design or product in the public domain, you will need to ensure that you are not infringing on any protected rights. Unfortunately, if you do infringe, ignorance will be no defence and you will potentially incur costs.

In addition, discovering infringement at a later stage could, for example, mean potential rebranding of your entire company which could prove to be a very costly mistake.

In order to avoid infringement, always carry out prior searches of the official databases:


Quick Search using Patent Number

Patent Advanced Search

Patent Links to International Searches

Trade Marks

Quick Search using Trade Mark Number

Trade Mark Advanced Search

Trade Mark Links to International Searches


Quick Search using Design Number

Design Advanced Search

Design Links to International Searches

If your searches return the name/brand/product or design you wish to use, you will then need to check whether or not the protection is based in any country in which you are seeking to use it. You can also check the status of the protection, eg. expired means the protection is no longer in force.

In the case of Trademarks, you may use a name that is already in existence once you are using it in a non-conflicting classification. A good example of this would be the name Oasis which is used for a band, a ladies clothes shop and a fruit drink.