Intellectual property reform comes into effect
New measures to help designers and patent holders protect their valuable intellectual property (IP) came into effect in October.
The Intellectual Property Act 2014 was introduced to modernise and streamline the whole IP legal framework. It is hoped that the measures will contribute £500m to the UK economy over the next ten years.
Key reforms include:
• the creation of a criminal offence for intentional copying of a registered design
• new protections for pre-publication research to ensure the UK’s universities and the research sector remains a world-leader
• webmarking to display your patent rights, allowing a company to put a web address rather than more detailed information about the patent status of a product
• the expansion of the patent opinions service, providing quick and affordable opinions on a wider range of patent disputes
• the promotion of international ‘patent work sharing’ to cut backlogs.
Consumers will also benefit from the changes. They will be given greater freedom to transfer content they have purchased on to different platforms. It is now legal to make personal copies of music across formats, for example, from CD to an mp3.
Other artists can also take content and use it for purposes such as parody, caricature and pastiche. They will be able to use a certain amount of material without the copyright holder’s permission as long as it is used in a fair and proportionate way.
The Minister for Intellectual Property, Baroness Neville-Rolfe DBE CMG, said: “These changes are going to bring our IP laws into the 21st century. They will mean that the UK IP regime will now be responsive to the modern business environment and more flexible for consumers.”
Please contact Jon Alvarez for more information about patents and protecting intellectual property.