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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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, In a nutshell: I wanted to have someone do some tshirt,

Resolved Question:

Hello,
In a nutshell:
I wanted to have someone do some tshirt, banners etc for me. I agreed a price with someone and they then did not deliver, many emails of me chasing and giving notice.
In the discussions that we they suggested a new name for what I was doing and I didn't like it so we agreed on a similar name but with a word change.
We are now in dispute and this person is saying that they own the IP as they can demonstrate a digital time code from their design software that they created during our conversations.
I have an IP registration that completes in about 4 weeks, but they are threatening all sorts.
1. When the IP registration comes through, how safe am I with it?
2. Can I turn round and say, "I have this now so please leave me alone"
3. Can they try to dispute the IP registration even when I get it?
4. 4. They are also saying they will use their US lawyers (they have lived in the US) and that I will have to deal with a US court system, fly there etc
Your help would be very much appreciated.
G
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

Is this the same person producing the banners please?

Alex Watts :

Was there any agreement in writing between you both?

Customer:

Hi,
This is the agreement I had:
----------------------------------------


Hi there,

So here is the article and perhaps we should do one for you when we have everything ready, it would be good I think. Don't share this as its not in print yet.

So the deal is:


  • You will commence on the design of the brand

  • We are in the initial stages talking about:
    - APPAREL: Logo, Tshirt, MMA shorts, Hoody, Cap
    - OTHER: Pop up banners, A5 Leaflets, Certificates, Membership Cards

  • Help to facilitate a web site/shop(that links in to Caged, so as you update designs they do so on my site).
    I will do the work on this with your help as to Wordpress, which I hope will be minimal as we can use Teamviewer etc if I need input.

  • The name is*****

  • It is a Fight Program

  • There should also be a growing leisure line, that adds to the brand and enhances the sense of its presence in the market.


In return:


  • Shocknife


Customer:

A shocknife is a Martial Arts training tool

Alex Watts :

I do not understand what the other side gets in return?

Customer:
In return:


  • Shocknife

Customer:

This is a martial arts training tool that retails at £199

Alex Watts :

So they would get a knife?

Alex Watts :

In return

Customer:

Yes.
Its a special one that I got from Canada.
In essence its a 'barter'

Customer:

We had a simple bartered agreement for £200 worth of goods, this is on an email that details, that if they design x,y,z they will have the item described (value £200), long story short, they never delivered anything and I ceased the relationship.




  1. They are now trying to bill me for time that they say they have worked on it, even though there is an email history that has me giving good notice of termination if nothing is forthcoming.




  2. They have moved to £1,500 as the sum.




  3. They are indicating that as they intended to make their money back from the mark up they would have made on the tshirts that’s this is the true cost.



Alex Watts :

So they do the design and in return you give them a knife. Did you give them the knife?

Customer:

So they do the design and in return you give them a knife. =YES
Did you give them the knife?=NO
We agreed a December deadline, which they missed.
I wrote to them saying they then had until 31st January, which they missed.
I wrote saying that the agreement was now finished.
That's when they started to say they would bill me for their time (£1500) and that they owned the IP (As they had a digital stamp on the creation of the name) and that I'd have to deal with their US lawyer and go to the US or deal with their US lawyer to sort it out.

Alex Watts :

But had they done the design at the point you cancelled the agreement?

Customer:

  • They had done designs, none of which I have used or accepted.They hadn't delivered in time.
    So I have an IP registration (TRADEMARK) that completes in about 4 weeks, but they are threatening all sorts.
    1. When the IP registration comes through, how safe am I with it? 2. Can I turn round and say, "I have this now so please leave me alone" 3. Can they try to dispute the IP registration even when I get it? 4. 4. They are also saying they will use their US lawyers (they have lived in the US) and that I will have to deal with a US court system, fly there etc Your help would be very much appreciated.

Customer:

I have an IP registration that completes in about 4 weeks, but they are threatening all sorts. 1. When the IP registration comes through, how safe am I with it? 2. Can I turn round and say, "I have this now so please leave me alone" 3. Can they try to dispute the IP registration even when I get it? 4. 4. They are also saying they will use their US lawyers (they have lived in the US) and that I will have to deal with a US court system, fly there etc Your help would be very much appreciated.

Customer:

Not the best typing sorry

Alex Watts :

But if you didnt use the design on what basis are you claiming the IP?

Customer:

I have put in the IP Registration in for the name, not the design.
I am saying that the name is ***** ***** we spoke about in conversation and is not covered by Copyright.

Alex Watts :

Did you come up with the name?

Customer:

A name with two words was offered to me.
I didn't like it and suggested a new 1st word.

Alex Watts :

Ok, so you alone came up with the name?

Customer:

I was with the designer, he suggested a name lets say: Apple Cart. I didn't like this and suggested Orange Cart.
The point being as the designer I acknowledge that he owns the designs that he came up with, and as such I never accepted them as I don't think they were any good.

Customer:

Right now I have a lot of clarity on this from another source.
Can you just answer one point, and that my Point 4; "They are also saying they will use their US lawyers (they have lived in the US) and that I will have to deal with a US court system, fly there"
How does this work? Can someone in the UK, use a US lawyer?
If they do, does that mean I have to go to the US, or deal in US law?
I feel that that is pretty unlikely and that 2 people in the UK are governed by UK law only?
If you can give me clarity on this, I'll be happy.

Alex Watts :

He is based abroad, or the UK?

Customer:

UK
He has lived in the US, but he now lives in the London area

Alex Watts :

Ok - and he was in the UK when you made the agreement?

Customer:

He does have business interests in the US and no doubt knows a lawyer there etc..
YES we both met on Facebook, and I visited him at his home/office in London.

Customer:

He is a UK resident.

Alex Watts :

Ok - then he can't sue in the USA. He can only sue in the UK and get UK lawyers invovled.

Alex Watts :

Even if he did get USA lawyers involved and get a USA Judgment it makes no difference.

Alex Watts :

It wouldnt be enforced generally in the UK

Alex Watts :

But if the deal was done here then its UK law.

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

Yes please.
What does getting a US Judgement mean?
Then you used the word 'generally' does this mean there are exceptions?
Finally is there a legal reference for me to use to indicate to this individual that I know he is in the wrong?

Alex Watts :

1) US Judgment means a Court order like the UK issues for debts

Alex Watts :

2) Generally, I have never known of a case where it can be enforced save where there has been an agreement between the parties saying it can be

Alex Watts :

3) This is a jurisdiction contract issue. If the contract or agreement was made here then in the absence of any other agreement, it is UK law that applies

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

Customer:

Yes
Can I ask:

Alex Watts :

Of couese.

Alex Watts :

course.

Customer:

1) US Judgment means a Court order like the UK issues for debts
How or why would someone do that if it has no relevance to UK Law?

Alex Watts :

I have no idea. He may just be trying it on to frighten you.

Customer:

But in essence it is irrelevant?

Alex Watts :

Yes. Because generally they can;t be enforced in the UK

Customer:

OK then that's all good thank you

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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