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Some of the provisions of the Intellectual Property Act come into force today. We’ve already touched on the patents opinions service and web marking of products with patent numbers and today we’ll be taking a quick look at the changes to UK design law. So here’s our top 5 changes to UK design law….. (more…)
The Intellectual Property Bill returned to the House of Lords on 2 April 2014 as part of the “ping pong” stage. The Lords considered the amendments to the Bill made in the House of Commons. As noted in our earlier post the Commons only made amendments to Clauses 3 and 13 (these clauses relate to the qualification criteria for unregistered design right and the criminal offence for copying a registered design).
The Intellectual Property Bill contains a clause related to the Unified Patent Court (see Clause 17). However, it is not expected that the UK will ratify the unified patent court agreement until mid 2015.
Mark Richardson 8 April 2014
The Report Stage and the third reading of the Intellectual Property Bill took place on 12 March. After some significant discussion time over the last few weeks on all the provisions within the Bill, the IP Bill leaves the Commons with amendments to Clause 3 (Qualification criteria for Unregistered design right) and Clause 13 (the criminal offence for copying a registered design) only. A full list of the Commons Amendments can be found here and marked up versions of the two clauses in question are below.
Since the Commons has made amendments to the Bill, the Lords needs to have another look and (i) agree to the amendments; (ii) disagree with the amendments; or (iii) propose an alternative. When a Bill passes back between the two Houses it is referred to as “ping pong” (or whiff whaff if you prefer….). When the exact wording has been agreed by the two Houses then the Bill will be ready for royal assent. Whiff whaff is currently scheduled for 2 April 2014.
We have taken a quick look at the changes made by the Commons to the Bill down below.
The Intellectual Property Bill is still awaiting a date for the Report stage in the House of Commons. One of the parts of the Bill that got a lot a discussion time was, of course, Clause 13 which introduces criminal sanctions for the copying of registered designs.
One point of discussion in relation to Clause 13 was its possible expansion to include unregistered design rights. This is something that ACID (Anti-copying in Design) in particular is keen to see happen. IPcopy would prefer that Clause 13 wasn’t in the Intellectual Property Bill at all but the registered design sanctions of the clause appear to be here to stay. However, extending the clause to cover unregistered designs would, in this ipcopywriter’s opinion, be a disaster.
Recently, the IP Federation has issued a policy paper on this issue and they have the following to say on the matter: (more…)
Last week saw the Committee stage of the Intellectual Property Bill in the House of Commons. A number of transcripts and other documents related to the Committee stage have popped up over the last few days and these are noted below. Of particular interest is this document which helpfully shows the amendments made during Committee in Track Changes format.
It is also interesting to note that four written submissions were received from outside bodies. These submissions were circulated to the MPs appointed to examine the Bill during Committee stage. Submissions were received from: National Union of Journalists (in relation to creators’ rights in the Bill); Universities UK (in relation to Clause 20: Freedom of Information: exemption for research); Dr Dimitris Xenos (in relation to the Unified Patent Court); and Jane Lambert (in relation to Clause 13).
Clause 13 was highlighted by the Committee as one of the more contentious areas of the Bill and virtually got a whole sitting of its own (which is covered in the following transcript). The state of Clause 13 as it exits the Committee stage is reproduced below along with an observation from the discussions in Committee. (more…)
The second reading of the Intellectual Property Bill in the Commons happened last Monday (20/1). It was disappointing that only around 25 people appeared to be present for the reading which took in the television and film watching habits of some members of the House, whether the Prime Minister can identify his Minister for Intellectual Property and plenty of discussion about the inclusion of criminal sanctions for copying of registered designs (Clause 13).
As ipcopymark has already reported, this week David Willetts has proposed amendments to Clause 13 of the Intellectual Property Bill that are, in IPcopy’s view, a step in the right direction. Hot on the heels of David Willetts’ amendments, Iain Wright has now put forward further amendments. A tracked copy of the proposed changes to Clause 13 is below, with Willetts’ proposals in red, and Wright’s proposals in blue.
Wright’s proposals are an interesting bunch. They expand on the notion that the copying must be deliberate, and bring in a criteria a person commits an offence if he knows that the acts committed would infringe the registered design, or is reckless as to whether they infringe the registered design. However, the proposed amendment to subsection 5 removes the defence that the design right was not infringed, replacing it with the criteria that the defendant reasonably believed that the registered design was not infringed. IPcopy’s view is that it would far preferable to keep both of these defences. There is also a puzzling addition of a new subsection 7A which defines the term ‘design right’ as including an unregistered Community design. Since the term ‘design right’ does not actually appear in this section it is unclear to IPcopy what this new subsection would add. If you have any thoughts, please let us know!
Also worth noting are Wright’s proposed additions to Clause 1 (that within 12 months the Secretary of State will undertake a review as to how these provisions have advanced the design industry in the UK), and Clause 8 (that within 6 months the Secretary of State will report on plans to publicise the law changes with the objective of educating holders of design rights), and a proposed new Section of the Patents Act that would introduce a “Director General of Intellectual Property Rights” with responsibility for, amongst other things, promoting the creation of new IP and educating consumers as to the importance and nature of IP rights.
Following the second reading of the Intellectual Property Bill in the House of Commons on Monday (20th January), David Willetts (Con)(Hampshire), the Minister for Universities and Science, has proposed some amendments to the Bill. The proposal includes amendments to Clause 13 that relates to criminal sanctions for copying a registered design.
These amendments on quick review look promising and appear to bring the provision closer into line with the explanatory notes to the Bill. A tracked changes copy of the proposal is below but the amendments basically introduce the fact the design has to be intentionally copied and remove the “substantially to the design” wording.
Seeing as there seems to be little chance of Clause 13 being deleted, the proposed amendments appear to be the next best thing. Hoepfully, the calls from some parties for the prosivions of Clause 13 to be extended to unregistered design rights will be resisted!
[Update: the Committee stage of proceedings has been set for 28th-30th January 2014 – see here]
Today will see the delayed second reading of the Intellectual Property Bill in the House of Commons. We’ve previously highlighted the main provisions of the Bill on IPcopy including our issues with Clause 13 (criminal sanctions for the copying of registered designs).
Clause 13 in its current form doesn’t appear to achieve what its supporters claim it does and I contacted my MP over the weekend in the hope that he will might help secure amendments to the wording of the Bill. A copy of my email is below. Feel free to adapt it if you wish to contact your own MP. You can find your own MP here.
The association Anti Copying in Design (ACID) are of course big supporters of Clause 13 of the IP Bill and actually are pressing for it to be extended to cover unregistered design rights. They are even quoting Churchill today on Twitter in an effort to drum up support for their position. Well, two can play that game! Here’s another Churchill quote that sums up my feelings about Clause 13: “Oh no, no, no!” (more…)
Last week in the context of Clause 13 of the Intellectual Property Bill we posted some comments on the suitability of a criminal court to hear registered design issues. I mentioned in that earlier post that there were other reasons why we thought the clause should be deleted and some more of these are discussed below.
Remember, if you feel that Clause 13 of the IP Bill should be deleted or amended to restrict its scope then you should lobby your MP. Find your MP here.
Today’s mini rant topic of discussion looks at whether the intent of the legislation has been captured in the Clause as drafted and also looks at the acts of copying and infringement. Finally there are some musings on the how the criminal provisions could be used in practice.