1. Overview

It’s your responsibility to defend your intellectual property (IP) and to take action if someone’s used it without permission (known as ‘infringement’).

Examples of IP infringement include when someone:

  • uses, sells or imports your patented product or process
  • uses all or some of your work under copyright without your permission
  • makes, offers or sells your registered design for commercial gain
  • uses a trade mark that’s identical or similar to one you’ve registered

You can take the following steps.

  1. Get the other party to stop using your IP or come to an agreement with them, eg license your IP.

  2. Use mediation or another type of dispute resolution.

  3. Take legal action if you can’t resolve the dispute by other means.

You may want to get help from an IP professional, eg a solicitor. The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) can also help.

Report IP crime

It can be a criminal offence to copy or use copyright material and registered trade marks without permission.

Report suspected IP crime to Trading Standards by contacting Citizens Advice.

You can also report it anonymously through: