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Chapter

Cover Business Law

24. Intellectual Property and Data Protection  

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.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to Business Law

12. Product Liability, Defective Premises, Interference with Land, and Defences  

This chapter discusses the difference between an action for defective products taken in the tort of negligence and an action under the Consumer Protection Act 1987. It considers the elements necessary for a claim under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 and the losses recoverable under the Act. The liability of occupiers to visitors and non-visitors (such as trespassers) under the Occupiers Liability Acts 1957 and 1984 is discussed. The chapter examines the torts of trespass to land; private and public nuisance and liability established by Rylands v Fletcher. The general defences that apply to all torts are considered, namely the defences of contributory negligence, consent, and illegality. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the meaning and extent of vicarious liability, looking at tortious actions committed by employees in the course of their employment.