Intellectual Property Bill makes progress
The Intellectual Property (IP) Bill has been given its second reading in the House of Commons, having completed its Lords stages last year.
The Bill should help UK businesses succeed by making the IP landscape easier to navigate and by helping them to protect their IP rights.
The key policies include:
- new powers for the UK to implement the Unitary Patent Court Agreement. This is a central part of introducing a single patent across almost all EU countries and could lead to direct savings to UK businesses of up to £40 million per annum
- measures to help businesses assess the strength of their IP case before going through formal and costly legal proceedings with the creation of a design opinions service. There will also be an expansion of the existing patent opinions service
- the introduction of a criminal sanction for intentional copying of registered designs. This will deter those who knowingly copy UK registered designs and will provide greater protection for our design sector. In 2009, UK business invested over £15 billion in designs and the Bill seeks to protect and develop this important industry
- an exemption to the Freedom of Information Act to better protect pre-publication research. As a result researchers can validate and analyse their work before putting it into the public domain allowing the UK Intellectual Property Office to share information on unpublished patent applications to clear backlogs internationally
The Bill is now at the committee stage.