As it is a mostly unregistered right, which often comes into existence automatically, usually at the time a work is created or recorded, there are often disagreements concerning whether, and to what extent, copyright exists in a work, who owns this, who is entitled to exploit it, and whether or not a third party’s activity can be prevented on the basis of it.

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Disputes relating to copyright arise in all sorts of contexts. To give just a few examples, there may be disagreements about who is the true author of a work, the respective contributions made by co-authors, originality and the conditions under which a work was created (for example was it created by an employee during the course of their employment, or under a commission, and if so on what terms). Disputes also arise concerning who is entitled to be the first owner of copyright in a work, whether and to what extent copyright has been transferred, licensed or waived, and whether a third party is infringing copyright.

The courts can resolve disputes if necessary. However it is often more cost-effective to resolve matters before formal proceedings are brought or decided, particularly in the field of copyright where proving the existence, ownership and scope of rights can be an onerous process. Our attorneys regularly settle disputes of all different types and complexities, usually without the need for formal proceedings. Nonetheless, compromises cannot always be reached, and in those cases we have first-class experience of handling copyright disputes before the courts, as well as coordinating and managing disputes overseas.

Whatever your dispute, we can help you get to the bottom of it and offer sensible, practical advice to help you resolve it.

'This firm has top-notch legal skills with a willingness to use them. They take the time to ask questions and understand our business interests in the technology and then offer suggestions as to how to respond in a manner to maximise our interests. As a group, their technical expertise is outstanding; all of the people with whom I've worked at this firm have had no trouble in picking up on the technology and the sometimes subtle differences between references.'
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