Intellectual property is a term that includes patents, registered trade marks, passing off, copyright, registered and unregistered design rights, performers' rights, trade secrets and breach of confidence. Passing off is when someone falsely represents their product or service for yours.
Whether you are a start-up or a large company in Singapore or Asia, your intellectual property - your inventions, brands and designs - are likely to be your most valuable assets. That intellectual property belongs to you and is generally known as Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).
Note that if your IPR is being infringed, you must act quickly. Within days of instructing a lawyer, you may be able to ask the court to grant an injunction (a court order having an immediate effect) to prevent any further infringement and quickly protect your market, up until the time of the trial. The court will only do so if you have a good case and have acted without delay.
Similarly, if you have been threatened with immediate court action by someone who claims you have infringed their IPR, you should seek advice as soon as possible so that the threat against you may be evaluated by a specialist lawyer and you have the advice you need to decide what to do next. Getting early advice may also save you high legal costs if someone brings a successful challenge against your IPR.
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