Moore Know How – Late Payment Of Debts & Joint Ownership Of IP

Moore Law Commercial, News

Late Payment: asserting your rights

Your statutory right to claim interest: We are often told about the hard work that goes into chasing up clients and getting invoices paid – not just on time, but at all – especially in the current climate. Something useful to have up your sleeve in these circumstances is your statutory right to claim interest on outstanding debts. Highlighting to your commercial clients this right, under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998, to claim interest (at base rate + a hefty 8%) can help focus debtors’ attention. By calculating for them the additional sums that creditors could legitimately claim in interest payments (which continue to accrue daily), we have had success in a number of cases in getting significant debts settled quick smart – without having to roll out the big guns! We can help you draft a simple but effective communication asserting your rights and hopefully help you wipe those bad debts off your balance sheet.

Should you share ownership of IP?

Most intellectual property rights can be jointly owned, but the parties need to be careful because co-ownership in practice can be complicated with undesirable results. Its consequences vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and differ as between types of intellectual property right, so you need to ensure that you avoid the pitfalls. For example, if co-owners do not agree any particular arrangement, then UK law provides that, where a patent or registered trade mark is granted to more than one applicant, each applicant (co-owner) has an equal undivided share in it…

This means that:

  • each co-owner can use the rights without needing the consent of the other so if you fall out with your co-owners they will be able to carry on using the rights without needing your agreement.
  • none of the co-owners may grant a licence without the consent of all the other co-owners.
  • upon the death of one of the co-owners, that owner’s share transfers to his or her personal representatives and not to the other co-owners.

For more detail check out our full article or get in touch.