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Business Law

Business Law (6th edn)

James Marson and Katy Ferris
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date: 29 February 2024

p. 64724. Intellectual Property and Data Protectionlocked

p. 64724. Intellectual Property and Data Protectionlocked

  • James MarsonJames MarsonReader in Law and Head of Research for Law, Sheffield Hallam University
  •  and Katy FerrisKaty FerrisAssociate Professor in Business Law, Nottingham University
  • Published in print: 07 May 2020
  • Published online: September 2020


The final chapter in the book examines matters relating to the intellectual property created and/or owned by a business and their responsibilities for the data they access and/or produce. Given the value of the outputs from the intellectual creativity of persons (software programs, books, music recordings etc.), this chapter outlines the rights available to protect them and the consequences for infringement. It first identifies the law surrounding creative ideas and work (copyright) before a product’s appearance (design rights) is considered. The chapter continues by assessing the protection of a brand name and image (trademarks) and finishes the substantive issues through examination of inventive ideas and works (patents). Confusion of the public through the unlawful use of an existing business’ name or product can result in the tortious liability of ‘passing-off’. Intellectual property is produced by employees and the consequences of employment status for the rights to exploit the property must be effectively managed. The chapter concludes with an assessment of developments in data protection—the GDPR, Data Protection Act, and the tactics available to businesses to avoid transgression of the law.

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