IP Infringement in the workplace – IPO Guide

Posted: 14th October 2011

Trade markLegal liability for some actions can result even where these are performed by someone else. The concept of ‘vicarious liability’ can apply in a number of situations and means that (for example) an employer can be liable for the actions of an employee.

Recently, the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) published a guide for businesses on the risks inherent in failing to tackle intellectual property (IP) crime in the workplace. This can arise through the distribution of unlicensed software or the transfer or sale of counterfeit materials.
The guide highlights criminal, reputational and security risks and can be found here. It also contains basic advice on what to do if you discover that IP rights are being infringed in the workplace.
If you are concerned that breaches of IP law may be occurring in your business, contact us for advice. It is particularly important not to make accusations against employees without sufficient cause.