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Criminal courts as a forum for design infringement

Parliamentary copyright images are reproduced with the permission of Parliament

Parliamentary copyright images are reproduced with the permission of Parliament

We’ve written quite a bit about Clause 13 of the Intellectual Property Bill on IPcopy but with the IP Bill now on the verge of its second reading in the Commons the time left to change the Bill is running out. The specific clauses and their wording will be discussed in the Committee stage of the Bill which may occur before Christmas.

It would be my preference for Clause 13 to be deleted in its entirety from the Bill for a number of reasons, one of which is discussed in more detail below. The intention behind the clause is to provide stronger rights for designers which is, of course, a laudable aim. However, I question whether this clause is the correct vehicle for those improved rights. Alternatives such as extending the small claims track of the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court to hear registered design cases would also enable registered design rights holders to bring cases more cost effectively. ACID themselves appear to have had great success with mediation which is a process that could be formalised and expanded in my view to provide another option to rights holders.

However, instead we have Clause 13 which will make it a criminal offence to copy a design. In this article we’ll look a little more at the forum that such cases will be heard in.

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UK: Intellectual Property Bill – Date of 2nd reading in Commons announced

Parliamentary copyright images are reproduced with the permission of Parliament

Parliamentary copyright images are reproduced with the permission of Parliament

A brief update on the Intellectual Property Bill. The Parliament website has just been updated with a date, 9th December 2013, for the Bill’s second reading in the House of Commons. The current version of the Bill, as brought from the Lords, can be found here.

The first reading of a Bill in the House of Commons is usally a formality and takes place without debate. The second reading of the Bill rsepresents the first time that MPs can debate the general purpose of the Bill. Individual clauses and amendments will be covered in the next stage, Committee stage.

Update (10.12.13): the 9th December session in the House of Commons was devoted to tributes to Nelson Mandela. It is IPcopy’s understanding that the second reading of the IP Bill will now occur after the Christmas break.

Mark Richardson  29 November 2013

IP Bill & Clause 13 – an IPcopy response to an ACID response to a Katpost

Parliamentary copyright images are reproduced with the permission of Parliament

Parliamentary copyright images are reproduced with the permission of Parliament

Last night IPKat posted a reply from Dids Macdonald of ACID on the recent series of posts relating to Clause 13 of the Intellectual Property Bill. Merpel (of IPKat) interspersed some comments into Dids’ views which helped throw a light on some of the comments being made.

However, having read the post a couple of times we felt moved to write a response to the post on IPKat. Since the resultant response was so long we’ve posted it here on IPcopy and have submitted a link to this article for inclusion in the comments section of the original post on IPKat. (more…)

A not entirely serious look at Clause 13 of the IP Bill….

Parliamentary copyright images are reproduced with the permission of Parliament

Parliamentary copyright images are reproduced with the permission of Parliament

Clause 13 of the Intellectual Property Bill is attracting a fair amount of discussion on both sides of the argument. I thought I’d take a closer look at some of the issues around the clause and what happened before its appearance in the Bill. I must have been in a funny mood when I wrote the post below as its in the style of a totally fictional conversation between a client and his patent attorney. See if you can guess which side of the argument I come down on…… (more…)

The IP Bill and the “Chilling effect” of Clause 13 revisited

Parliamentary copyright images are reproduced with the permission of Parliament

Parliamentary copyright images are reproduced with the permission of Parliament

In our previous series of articles on the IP Bill we looked at Clause 13 which seeks to introduce criminal provisions in respect of registered design infringement. This section of the Bill attracted a fair amount of discussion since it was felt in some (many?) quarters that  the threat of criminal proceedings could be asserted via Clause 13 against designers which would have a “chilling effect” on the UK design industry.

As noted here, the IP Bill has now left the Lords on its way to the Commons and Clause 13 has been the subject of a massive amount of debate in the Lords and has been amended slightly during its passage through that House. So, what’s changed and why?

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