Copyright & Confidential Information

Copyright exists automatically and is a legal right held by the creator of a range of different types of creative work. Protection is granted by the Copyright Designs and Patents Act, 1988 and applies to a diverse range of products including documents, photos, artwork, games, designs, audio, software, surveys and databases, to name just a few.

Our legal team are experts in copyright and confidential information and can help you to protect your original intellectual property. Not everything is covered by copyright – such as short phrases, names or ideas – but we can offer alternative solutions to ensure you are still fully protected.

For more information about our intellectual property law services please call us on +44 (0)20 3475 6751 or email

More information

Are you looking for accurate legal information about copyright and confidential information? The information below deals with two other areas of intellectual property law, copyright and confidential information. 


Copyright is an arm of intellectual property law that complements trademarks and patents. Unlike trademarks and patents, there is no absolute requirement to register your work for copyright to exist. Copyright is an automatic right which exists when an original piece of intellectual property is created.

Under English law, the following original items are protected by copyright:

  • Artistic, dramatic, musical and literary work, including photography and illustrations
  • Non-literary written content such as databases, web content and software
  • Broadcasts
  • TV, film, music and sound recordings
  • The layout of published versions of musical, dramatic or written work

If you have original intellectual property which falls into one of the above categories, copyright provides you with certain rights. Specifically, others must not:

  • Copy your work
  • Distribute copies of your work (immaterial whether this is sold or provided free of charge)
  • Play, show or perform your work in a public place
  • Adapt your work
  • Lend or rent copies of your work
  • Put your work on the internet

There are some exceptions to copyright, such as:

  • Private study and non-commercial research
  • Data mining for non-commercial research
  • Reviewing, criticising and reporting of current events
  • Teaching
  • Caricature, pastiche or parody
  • Helping disabled people (such as making a Braille version)
  • Time-shifting for private viewing

Many of these exceptions only apply in certain circumstances, such as is the work can be classed as “fair dealing”. This is a legal term but does not have a statutory definition.

Confidential Information

Copyright may also apply to confidential information, but in the cases where it doesn’t, the law provides separate protection. This means that where other intellectual property laws won’t ever apply, there is still a form of protection.

The confidential information receives protection under the law, regardless of how it’s recorded. The legislation exists to prevent an unfair advantage being gained by those who receive confidential information.

To be classed as confidential, the information must not be in the public domain, nor be excessively vague. It must also hold some value, although this value does not have to be financial. The law also requires that it would either cause harm or be advantageous to rival businesses, if disclosed.

Copyright and confidential information are both complex areas, which sometimes overlap. For expert advice on all aspects of English law relating to these, get in touch with our team.

Do I need to use the copyright symbol ©?

You can mark you work with this symbol, your name and the year that the work was created. However, whether the work is marked or not will not affect the level of protection. The copyright symbol is to inform the people that are looking at your work that is copyright protected. 

How long does copyright last?

The duration of copyright depends on the type of work. If the work is written, dramatic, musical or artistic then the copyright would last for 70 years which starts after the author’s death. Sound and music recording lasts for 70 years and that starts from the date of first publication. Films also lasts for 70 years which starts after the death of the director, screenplay author and composer. Broadcasts lasts for 50 years from the date of the first broadcast and the layout of published editions of written, dramatic or musical works lasts for 25 years from when it is first published

Can I sell or transfer my copyright?

Yes, you can sell or transfer your copyright. You would need to enter into a contract or an ‘assignment’ some may refer to. You would need to ensure that you are adequately protected and this something we can assist you on.
You could also license your work which you could benefit financially from and also decide on how the other party uses it.

How can we help?

Have you discovered that someone is copying your work? Although you may have included the copyright symbol ©, this does not prevent people from copying you work. As long as you have the intellectual property rights to the work you created, you may be able to send a cease and desist letter to them. This is something we can assist with.

If you require any assistance, please call us on +44 (0)20 3475 6751 or email

Reena Popat

Reena Popat

Managing Partner

t: +44 020 3475 2724 
m: +44 07931 347 854


Katie Horrod

Katie Horrod


t: 020 3093 0864



Successfully defended a trade mark infringement claim from a well known beauty brand

We successfully settled a claim on behalf of a tech client regarding overlapping trade marks against one of the largest telecommunications companies in the UK

We have settled over 200 trade mark claims and disputes, shielding our clients from the hassle of prolonged court proceedings and saving them millions

Partner Led

Unlike many law firms when we say partner or barrister led, we mean partner or barrister led. When clients work with us, they get constant access to the lead on their instruction. Yes, we have a team of solicitors and juniors for some of the groundwork and necessary research required by our clients, but this is when it makes financial sense to the client for us to do this. We provide constant contact at no extra cost as part of our service as most of our lawyers have their own business, so they know first-hand how important having a proactive, responsible and trusted partner on their side can be. And also how to work to a financial budget, and the way that legal decisions impact the wider organisation, which often requires balancing risks and competing interests.

Proactive Contact

Many ask us ‘what’s different about you?’ and we like to reply, ‘because we go the extra mile’. We see our work as building and maintaining good business relationships rather than just earning fees. How we do this is by keeping in constant contact with our clients and intermediaries. From pre to post instruction we ensure that our clients are informed of all legal issues that may impact their business and therefore lives. That is why we provide daily or weekly updates to ALL of our clients whether there is anything to tell them or not (we don’t charge for this we just see it as part of our service). We like our clients to rest peacefully knowing that when we are instructed, and we say ‘we will take it from here’ they know we mean it.

City quality, outer City fees

The world is changing, and many individuals are realising that lifestyle is as vital to them as is income. We are the lucky ones who can hand pick lawyers who can provide the best quality advice but at outer city costs. Our offices are in North West London which may not be the most salubrious in the market but at the same time this allows us to charge our clients for what they pay for, our advice NOT our office space.

ALL our lawyers have previously worked in large city-based law firms and continue to practise and offer  the same high level service  they provided to clients in the City but without the pressure and demands often dictated by City law firm. This allows us to be competitive on our fees without compromising our service.

All in all, our clients win, which is the way we like it.

Our knowledge and resources are yours

All our clients benefit from the same high level of care and attention whether the instruction is big or small. At the outset of each matter, we discuss the entire process with our clients, including the costs, potential outcomes and issues associated. This is to ensure clients are fully aware, knowledgeable and are in control always. Supporting and ensuring we provide the highest level of services, we offer our constant contact process with the partner or barrister leading  your file, a document log in for matters which are for larger and more complicated instructions and on-going support post transaction should our clients require it. Our aim is not just to get the work done, but to make our clients’ lives easier as we do it, which is why we ensure that our clients have regular access to the resources they need from us.


“Many thanks to Reena, Lena and the team at Carter Bond for some amazing and rapid work recently, and their excellent communication throughout.”

Manoj Tank, HJ Heating Services Limited
Manoj Tank,

“Very professional service and quick turn around too.”

Abid Musa,  Musa Academy Limited
Abid Musa,

“Fantastic service and very informative.”

Jeminee Solanki-Palmer,  Stylist Academy London
Jeminee Solanki-Palmer,

“Highly recommend Carter Bond Solicitors for anything regarding Commercial Law. Amazing and great to work with.”

Jai Shah, Jai Shah Potography
Jai Shah,
5 Things you probably didn't know about intellectual property law

5 Things you probably didn't know about intellectual property law

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