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By Emma Lambert
The golden rule, when selecting a name for your business or your brands, particularly if you intend to register the name as a trade mark, is that it should not describe the goods and services to which it will be applied. For example, it is unlikely that I would be able to register 'FLOWERS' as a trade mark, if my business was selling or growing flowers, as the name describes the goods I sell.
By Sarah Staines
Electronic Reverse Auctions "eRA" are a procurement methodology using a secure internet platform to enable competing suppliers to bid in real time for specific contracts. Sarah Staines explains the process and identifies the legal issues.
By Sarah Staines
Sarah Staines reports on the newest Government measures to help "UK Ltd" to achieve its optimum potential and value in intellectual property rights. Three recent announcements from the Government are all pointers to the commitment this Government has to creating wealth from intellectual property in the commercial and academic sectors.
By Hana Ferraris
In South Bohemia (Czech Republic) there is a town called Ceske Budejovice – Budweis in German. This town is situated near the Austrian and German borders and is well known as Budweis in both neighbouring countries because of the lager which has been brewed there for centuries. The oldest evidence of brewing in Budweis is a permission to brew, which was granted by one of the Czech kings in the 13th century. The beer and subsequently the brewery, were known by two names: Budweiser and Budvar (whe
By Margaret Thirlway
Have you checked the Immigration status of your staff? If not, your business – and you personally – could be prosecuted and fined up to £5,000 per illegal employee, even if you had no idea they were not allowed to work here. Prosecutions of this kind are now becoming much more common; any illegal staff can also be removed by the immigration authorities without notice, which could have a serious effect on your business.
By Emma Lambert
An all too common statement made by businesses is that they ‘do not possess any intellectual property’. However, even the smallest of businesses usually owns at least four of the six key intellectual property rights (‘IPRs’), namely copyright, trade marks, domain names and know-how – failure to identify your IPRs means you may be over-looking valuable company assets.
By Emma Lambert
All businesses have a trading name. Most modern businesses also have a website domain name and more often than not, one that is the same as the trading name. The importance of these two names cannot be stressed enough – both underpin your business by clearly identifying it so customers can find you and your products, which increases the value of your business by developing its goodwill and reputation.
By Emma Lambert
In the last of her three part series, Emma Lambert looks at inventions and know-how. She will help you to decide whether you or your business owns these intellectual property rights and if so, suggests ways you can protect them – some of which are free and easy to put in place.
By Hana Ferraris
April 2004 saw the start of a new single scheme for licensing premises to sell alcohol, provide public entertainment and/or provide late night refreshment. The scheme is the result of the Licensing Act 2003, which also introduces a new system of personal licences that allow holders to sell or serve alcohol for consumption on or off licensed premises.
By Sarah Staines
Privacy and data protection has been the subject of considerable recent public comment. The Humberside Police made an extraordinary decision to dispose of information relating to the "Soham" murderer. A gas supplier has been vilified over the death of two vulnerable customers, when it stated it could not provide social services with their details under privacy rules. Companies have received official looking letters from bogus "Data Protection" agencies asking for sums far in ex
By Sarah Staines
As the HR Director for ABC Engineering, Bill Bell knows that under UK Data Protection legislation Mary, who was a manager in the company two years ago and is now the director of a supplier company, has rights to the information that ABC holds about her. However, he is unsure what his obligations are and what information Mary is actually entitled to. Sarah Staines answers this case study and clarifies the legal position on dissemination of such information.
By Hana Ferraris
Internet piracy is a major threat to all businesses whose success depends on controlling copyright works. Hana Ferraris outlines mistakes made by the music industry in dealing with Internet theft and shows how you can learn from them to prevent your own works being copied.

By Emma Lambert
Choosing a brand name requires careful consideration. Think about your target customers, positioning in the market, finance and protection. As a brand management adviser at Pictons Solicitors Emma Lambert is aware that there is a common misconception that a brand should describe the product or service being provided. From a trade mark and durable brand point of view this is not the case. In this article Emma examines the current legal approach to descriptive trade marks and sets out practical p
By Hana Ferraris
Judeth Neville sets out a few simple rules to allow you to make valuable strategic decisions on company, brand and domain names that will enhance your competitive advantage.
By Emma Lambert
An international trade mark strategy is vital to all businesses from start-ups to large multi-national organisations. Emma Lambert outlines the best options for protecting brands internationally and considers their particular strengths and weaknesses.