The UK IPO is busy implementing another of Mr Gowers’ recommendations, in the shape of the Strategic Advisory Board on IP Policy (SABIP). SABIP will be a non-departmental public body, charged with strategic oversight of IP policy, challenging government policy-making and advising on how the
· a recognised and effective leader with a with strategic insight into the role of IP in the economy and society;
· experienced in chairing meetings at board level, analysing complex issues and reaching balanced, independent judgements;
· able to represent SABIP externally and to build consensus, communicate with, and influence a range of stakeholders.
The IPKat notes that applications must be in by 21 January 2008.
Fun and games in the US of A. PC Magazine reports that the US Department of Justice has condemned the ProIP Bill, a bill which would establish an intellectual property enforcement divison within the Department of Justice. The DOJ already has an IP enforcement division, which is part of its criminal division, and the DOJ would like it to stay there. The deputy attorney general claimed that the change will disrupt important relationships within the criminal division and will make intradepartmental IP coordination more difficult. She also emphasised the close working relationship between the current IP division and the DOJ’s cybercrime laboratory, saying
“This close collaboration … could be jeopardized if the IP enforcement component were split off from computer crime and placed into a separate division…Moreover, it may lead to duplicative administration and training programs."
She also poured cold water on plans to create an IP office within the White House, noting
"We are always going to be concerned when you have somebody at the White House who may be in the position of directing our enforcement or what cases we do or don't do,"
"That would be contrary to the long-standing tradition of the department making independent decisions regarding law enforcement."
The IPKat can’t help but think that the new piece of legislation is looking a tad disproprtionate. For sure IP infringement is to be discouraged, but it seems to be being treated almost like a threat to national security, rather than a threat to private rights.