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Security Rights in Intellectual Property in England and Wales

  • Jan Jakob BornheimEmail author
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Part of the Ius Comparatum - Global Studies in Comparative Law book series (GSCL, volume 45)

Abstract

In this contribution, the author analyses the interaction between secured transaction law and intellectual property law in England and Wales. The interaction between these two areas of law is complex and not well-coordinated.

English secured transaction law can be categorized as formal as opposed to functional, meaning that the effects of a security interest differ depending on what form this security interest takes. Different attachment, perfection and priority rules apply depending on whether the security interest is a legal or an equitable security interest.

The rules relating to the attachment and perfection of a security interest, particularly a legal security interest, will depend on the rules applying to the specific intellectual property right—they are a function of intellectual property law, not secured transactions law; these rules differ between different intellectual property rights. The statutory provisions applying to the different intellectual property rights take little account of common law and equity property rules and lead to a differential treatment of security interests depending on what type of property constitutes the object of security.

A number of intellectual property rights are registrable in a specific registry, depending on the type of intellectual property. In that case, registration of the security interest in the relevent intellectual property right registry influences priority.

Floating charges are security interests in present and future property that allow the debtor to retain the right to deal with the property in the ordinary course of business. In practice, only businesses will grant a floating charge. Floating charges add an additional layer of complexity to the priority framework, as the otherwise applicable priority rules are modified by the rules in relation to floating charges. As well, floating charges by an incorporated business trigger an additional registration requirement in the company register that is not synchronised with the specific intellectual property law registration system.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand

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