An assignment is used whenever one person or company wants to sell some or all of the intellectual property rights in a design to another person or company. Assignments effectively change the ownership of the intellectual property rights assigned, leaving the original owner with no further rights. An assignment is used to confirm a transfer of ownership. If the IP in question has previously been paid for the rights are sold for £1 to ensure that the assignment is legal. Where they are being sold for a price the value should be inserted. Careful thought should be given to the value of the intellectual property rights in a design whenever the rights are being sold for their full value in an 'arm's length transaction' (such as on the sale of a business), rather than for a nominal amount as in these agreements. Assignments can also be used to transfer some of the intellectual property rights in a design only, as well as to grant rights in relation to certain activities (such as manufacturing only) or for certain products (e.g. to use a copyright work for clothing designs only).
The Assignment of Intellectual Property Rights In An Unregistered Design Agreement is a straight forward assignment for £1 of the intellectual property rights in a design or list of designs which are already in existence at the date of the agreement. Representations of the design or designs being sold should be attached in the schedule at the end of the agreement. It is a general assignment of all rights in a design. It is expressed to be between a Designer and the Assignee, so would be appropriate for the situation where the Assignee has requested certain designs from the Designer. It is therefore always advisable in a commission situation to obtain a written assignment of the intellectual property rights from the designer in order to ensure that there is no dispute about who was intended to own the intellectual property rights later on.
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