Intellectual property laws modernised for UK
Written by staff reporter
New measures to modernise the UK's intellectual property framework came into force this week, modernising copyright law and helping designers and patent holders protect valuable IP.
The government says its package of reforms to copyright exceptions is expected to contribute and estimated £500 million to the UK economy over the next 10 years.
This includes changes which will allow people greater freedom to enjoy content they have bought and from 1 October 2014 allow them to make personal copies strictly for their own private use. Prior to this change, it was illegal to copy music from a CD to an MP3 player.
A new exception to copyright was also added for parody caricature, pastiche and improvements to rules on how you can use quotations. This will allow the limited use of copyright material without the permission of the copyright holder, but only to the extent that the use is fair and proportionate.
Commenting on the changes, Minister for Intellectual Property, Baroness Neville-Rolfe DBE CMG, said: "These changes are going to bring our IP laws into the 21st century. They will mean that the UK IP regime will now be responsive to the modern business environment and more flexible for consumers. Not only will these new measures provide a significant boost to the UK's creative industries, they will also better protect a number of sectors including the protection of the UK's design industry, worth more than £15 billion to the economy."
Other key intellectual property reforms that came into force on 1 October 2014 include:
•The Intellectual Property Act 2014. The act will help simplify and strengthen protection for the UK designs industry, worth more than £15 billion to the UK economy, and help improve the efficiency of the IP rights system
•The creation of a criminal offence for intentional copying of a registered design
•Providing new protections for pre-publication research to ensure the UK's universities and the research sector remains a world-leader
•Webmarking to display patent rights, allowing a company to put a web address rather than more detailed information about the patent status of a product
•The expansion of the patent opinions service, providing quick and affordable opinions on a wider range of patent disputes
•The promotion of international 'patent work sharing' to cut backlogs.
Separately, the government has also introduced a Legislative Reform Order that will provide support for the life sciences sector by allowing the use of patented products when carrying out product or technology assessments.