Intellectual Property Office (2016a)
|Intellectual Property Office (2016a)|
|Title:||Unjustified threats on intellectual property rights: Government Response|
|Author(s):||Intellectual Property Office|
|Citation:||Intellectual Property Office (2016), Unjustified threats on intellectual property rights: Government Response|
|Link(s):||Definitive , Open Access|
|Key Related Studies:|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||Following the publication of the final Law Commission report and draft bill, the government was keen to confirm stakeholder views via a discussion paper. This was published 22 October 2015, with a comment period running to 13 November. The government received 12 responses to the discussion paper, including responses from lawyers, company and industry representatives, IP and legal interest groups and the IP judiciary.
In addition to answering the questions that were posed, a number of respondents also made comments about particular aspects of the draft bill, often relating to the specifics of the wording
|Data Type:||Primary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:||Yes|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:||
The IPO launched a discussion document on 22 October 2015, following the publication of the Law Commission’s final report on reforming the law of unjustified threats on intellectual property infringement. The government received 12 responses to the discussion paper which are discussed below.
Main Results of the Study
- Respondents stressed that the current statutory rights are inconsistent and unclear; one respondent noting that as a result small businesses may feel discouraged from asserting their IP rights. It was also felt that the lack of consistency across the registered rights is confusing. It was commented that the current laws can create a “potential for mischief”, causing uncertainty and conflict between clients and advisers.
- The general approach to reform, as recommended by the Law Commission, received wide support. Most commented that they saw the benefits of the proposals in the draft bill which seek to achieve clear harmonisation of the provisions and encourage easier communication. Respondents noted that the proposed reforms will provide further clarity for parties exchanging information thereby preventing difficulties and avoiding litigation. In their view the government’s proposals will rightly discourage unjustified threats. One comment emphasised that the consistent rules implemented as a result of the reform would make the law “more coherent and intelligible”. A number of respondents did note that wider reform (such as a new tort consistent with the law elsewhere in the EU) would be desirable in the long term. Nevertheless they were able to support the Law Commission’s proposed approach to reform at the current time. It was noted by one such respondent however that a change to a new, wider tort would be too dramatic at this point and would lead to further uncertainty.
- The majority of respondents considered the draft bill to be suitable for the special Law Commission Bill procedure, agreeing that the proposals are uncontroversial. It was noted that key stakeholders have been consulted and that the “sensible and measured” changes proposed have a strong consensus of support. A number of respondents have nevertheless made specific comments on the wording of the draft bill. One respondent stated that their support for the use of the special procedure would be dependent on reassurance and clarification being provided on two areas of the draft bill.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
The government has accepted the Law Commission’s recommendations for reform, including those made in the final Law Commission report, and intends to introduce primary legislation to implement these reforms. In light of the responses to this discussion paper the government will continue to investigate introducing the reforms via the special procedure which exists for bills implementing uncontroversial Law Commission recommendations.
Coverage of Study
|Level of aggregation:||Stakeholders|
|Period of material under study:||2015|