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What’s going on with the Intellectual Property Bill?

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Parliamentary copyright images are reproduced with the permission of Parliament

Parliamentary copyright images are reproduced with the permission of Parliament

In an earlier series of posts (see here) we covered the various aspects of the Intellectual Property Bill as it was initially introduced. However, a few months have now gone by, so what’s the state of play with the Bill?

The last reading in the House of Lords was on 30 July 2013 when the Bill passed out of the Lords after around 3 months of scrutiny. The next step for the Bill is for it to be debated in the House of Commons (no date set yet for the first reading but the progress of the Bill can be tracked on the Parliament website here. Update: seems the Parliament website was slow to update. The first reading in the Commons took place on 29 August 2013. No debate took place at that time and there’s no date set yet for the second reading). Handy “What the IP Bill means to you” guides for both patents and designs have also been published by the UK IPO.

The Bill was subject to a number of amendments during its passage through the Lords. The original version of the Bill as introduced is here and the amended version as brought forward from the Lords to the Commons is here.

There are a number of minor changes throughout the Bill and a few amendments stand out.

An additional clause has been added as Clause 14 (Offences committed by partnerships).  Clause 13, which previously generated a lot of coverage, has also been tweaked slightly so that the the defences in subsection (5) now read as follows:

(5) It is also a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to show that the person did not infringe the right in the design

 (a) did not infringe the right in the design, or

(b) reasonably believed that the person did not do so.

and a new Clause 13(6) has been added which reads:

(6) The reference in subsection (3) to using a product in the course of a business does not include a reference to using it for a purpose which is merely incidental to the carrying on of the business.

IPcopy will be keeping track of the Bill as it moves through the House of Commons.

Mark Richardson  12 September 2013

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