Law firm Hammonds is warning Midlands businesses that a "sue first and negotiate later" approach to intellectual property infringement could cost them dear.
Intellectual property specialists at the Birmingham office say they are becoming increasingly concerned that any threats to sue for infringement could backfire with the business being sued by the infringer.
The firm is backing concerns that were recently raised by the Law Society which wants the Government to overhaul outdated provisions.
Richard Plaistowe, an intellectual property special-ist, cautioned: "There are provisions within trade mark, patents and design legislation which entitle anyone to sue for infringement, to bring legal proceedings against the maker of the threat, who will then be exposed to an injunction and an award of damages."
Consequently the Law Society believes that these provisions should be abolished because it forces people to institute legal proceedings rather than encouraging dialogue and settlement with litigation being a last resort.
Mr Plaistowe said: "Apart from the considerable costs and time wasted in having to defend a claim, threatening to sue for trade mark, patent or design infringement without first taking expert legal advice could have the effect of enabling the infringer to turn the tables."