Intellectual Property

Every business, from start-ups through to international business giants, creates, owns and exploits intellectual property rights. Indeed, intellectual property rights are essential to enabling a business to achieve its ambition, and are hugely valuable commercial assets.  When understood and protected effectively, they can provide competitive advantage by allowing you to prevent your competitors from standing on your ground and will enable you to maximize your product or service’s value or even generate further revenue through licensing models or the like.

However, this is a complex area and many businesses don’t always fully understand their intellectual property rights or have people dedicated within their business to proactively protecting and managing them.  The unfortunate reality is that many businesses wait until it is almost too late before considering how best to protect those rights, for example at the stage when their rights are being challenged or infringed by a third party.  If you don’t secure your intellectual property rights at the outset, this can cause significant difficulties and costs in the future.

Why choose Foot Anstey

At Foot Anstey, we assist our clients with any intellectual property issue relating to the ownership, registration, enforcement and exploitation of these rights. Our expert intellectual property lawyers have a holistic approach to helping you manage, enforce and exploit your intellectual property rights, whether that’s proactive protection, helping to resolve disputes or supporting you with intellectual property related deals and agreements. Given that we know how intellectual property rights are enforced in the courts, we are well placed to use this knowledge to help our clients avoid or limit the cost and hassle of litigation by ensuring they obtain the right protection in the first place and resolve disputes quickly.

You can be reassured that you will always have access to our Partners and high quality legal specialists, who know how to deal with your issue in the most efficient way and who are not afraid to challenge when necessary. The team is made up of creative problem-solvers, who are able to provide flexible solutions to suit your needs. This could include working in-house for clients or providing an outsourced legal function for Boards. We have offices in Bristol, Plymouth, Exeter, Southampton, Taunton & Truro, and our extensive experience extends beyond the UK as well. We regularly collaborate with other firms abroad, including partner intellectual property law firms in the US, Europe, Australia and South Africa.

In those difficult situations where your rights are challenged or you need to take action against others, we’ve got the right people, who are highly experienced in complex disputes, to fight your corner.  We know when to be strong, challenging and even brave, depending on the scenario.  Our approach is to try and avoid your exposure to litigation as far as possible, addressing your challenge in the most cost effective and efficient way to get you results.

Client Guides

How do you navigate the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court?

This guide answers some of the basic questions we receive relating to the procedure in IPEC and highlights the advantages and disadvantages of this court compared to the traditional route of litigating through the High Court.

Do you need an IP audit?

An IP Audit is a detailed review of your businesses assets and related risks and opportunities. An audit can help your businesses to reach its potential by giving you guidance and advice to support growth.

How do you protect your IP rights in China?

What should you do to protect your intellectual property rights in China?

Do you need a brand watch notice?

It is best for the brand owner to tackle a third party using or intending to use a conflicting mark as early as possible and before the third party becomes attached to the mark. This requires a brand owner to have a trade mark watch service in place which alerts it to any new trade mark filings which conflict with its brand.

How clear is your brand?

Ensuring you have a clear brand that is distinguishable in the market is essential. The importance of carrying out an availability search when establishing a new brand cannot be underestimated.

Why should you register a trade mark?

If a business does not have registered trade mark protection for its core brands, it risks being unable to prevent third parties from adopting an identical or similar brand. Find out what the benefits of registering a trademark are.

Do you need international protection?

As trade mark rights are territorial, it is important when adopting a new brand to consider which territories or countries you wish to seek protection in.

How to Navigate the customs process

To give customs the power to detain and seize counterfeit products, a brand owner must file an AFA form. Find out how the process works to ensure your products are protected.

The most common questions about the UK trade mark registration process

We have put together a useful guide which answers the most common questions about the UK trade mark registration process.

Our people

Our team, led by renowned IP specialist Paul Cox, will understand what you are trying to achieve and then will advise on the best and most cost effective solutions to enable you to maximize the value and achieve your commercial objectives. Paul has also been admitted into the Legal 500 Hall of Fame for Intellectual Property (South East).

Related services

Retail & Consumer

The sheer pace of retail leaves little time to plan ahead.

Our experienced team are on-hand 24/7 with the progressive solutions clients are asking for in the areas that matter to them everyday


At Foot Anstey, we’ve invested in our team of finance experts. We hire, develop and retain lawyers with deep specialisms in specific areas of finance law – because we know you need and want more than a jack of all trades.

Media & Entertainment

Keeping control of owned creative content – and the data which make it profitable – is a constant challenge.

Our stable of media lawyers understand our sector and are leaders in the field – the right team as you navigate through changing commercial trends and legal challenges.


Whether or not your company has an in-house legal function, running a business today presents many complex challenges. 

We think it’s important that we genuinely get to know our clients businesses – that’s how we can deliver value that goes beyond just the monetary.

General Counsel Services

Life as a General Counsel can be tough – balancing dealing with a wide range of proactive and reactive legal issues and risk management on behalf of your organisation, while also dealing with the operational side of the role such as running a team, supplier management, systems, processes and technology.

Our General Counsel services model takes a unique approach to working with you and helping you to address these challenges.


Technology is at the heart of the way businesses interact, communicate, manage staff and position themselves in the market place. 

Our technology team can add value by engaging with you on business and technology strategy as well as simply advising on legal issues.


Fraud is big business. It costs the UK economy over £100 billion a year. It creates holes in your finances. It sows distrust among your colleagues and partners.

The threat of fraud will never cease. Which is why we’ll always be ready to act.

Dispute Resolution

Disputes are an inevitable part of any business, introducing unwanted risk and high stress. They also create a distraction that takes you away from what you do best and where you need to be.

Let us help your business get the results it needs.


Work examples All aspects of transport industry franchises principally in the rail sector for major rail operators. Preparing the suite of template agreements (including deposit agreement and franchise agreement) to set up a new franchise business – often working alongside franchise consultants. Setting up, tendering and commissioning a passenger ferry operator’s franchise of the King […]