What is copyright infringement?

When you find that someone has copied your work without your authorisation, they may have infringed your copyright.

Copyright infringement is the use of a work (or a substantial part of a work) which is protected by the law of copyright without permission of its owner. The types of use which amount to infringement include reproduction, distribution, display or performance of the protected work. For there to be a finding of infringement, the work should be substantially similar in design, structure or content, to the degree that it can be said the work was copied or adapted from the original, rather than simply being a similar idea or concept.

In this situation, a copyright owner is entitled to bring a claim before the Civil Courts to seek remedies including destruction of the infringing articles, damages, an account of profits and costs. In some circumstances (for example, the deliberate piracy of a film) the infringer may have also committed criminal offences, which can result in fines and even a prison sentence.

How we can help

In the event that you believe your copyright work is being infringed, we can advise you on what action you can take, the remedies you may be able to achieve and any associated costs. If you receive a threat of legal action, we can act for your behalf to try to defend the claim or try to resolve it amicably. It is worth remembering, however, that litigation in the UK can be expensive and take time.

Some of our team

Dr Martin Neilson

Partner - Leeds

Alison Cole

Senior Trade Mark Attorney - London

Dr Neil Pawlyn

Partner - Cardiff

Get in touch

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+44 330 107 5077

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