Intellectual Property: A Time for Change?

16-09-2011 09:13

In November 2010, David Cameroncommissioned an independent review of the UK’s Intellectual Propertyframework.  Specifically, he wasconcerned that the framework of Intellectual Property laws, some of which werefirst enacted over 50 years ago, may not adequately provide protection in thismodern age of digitalisation. The reviewpanel, led by Professor Ian Hargreaves, published the findings of its review inMay 2011.

There are 10 specificrecommendations within the report, which we will seek to discuss in more detailin the coming months on this blog. InAugust 2011 the Government accepted all 10 recommendations and has published aresponse detailing how it intends to react and implement the review.

Of the 10 recommendations,several of the recommendations are significant for businesses, for example:

  • Creation in the UK of the world’s first Digital CopyrightExchange to enable the holders of IP rights to mutually licence rights toencourage innovation and growth
  • Proposal that a “small claims” option isintroduced in the Patents County Court to assist rights holders with theenforcement of their rights against infringers
  • The Intellectual Property Office should improve accessibilityof the IP system so smaller companies can benefit from it
  • Assessment of the Designs area of IntellectualProperty law to help designers protect and market their designs

We will be reviewing andcommenting on these individual areas in more detail over the coming months inthis blog and would welcome any comments from IP rights holders as to how theserecommendations affect their businesses. For those with an interest in this area, the review and Governmentresponse can be found at the Intellectual Property Office's website.

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