For the half-year to 31 December 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Rebecca Gulbul, Lucas Michels and Marie-Andrée Weiss.

Regular round-ups of the previous week's blogposts are kindly compiled by Alberto Bellan.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Cutting the red tape: can we do better?

Even red tape
has its uses ...
The United Kingdom's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is, by definition, part of the civil service -- and it is the civil service, not just in the UK but in practically every industrial country, which is blamed for generating red tape: unnecessary and/or excessive administrative formalities that consume the time, money and patience of people that have to deal with them.

Today BIS issued a media release which indicates that the government recognises that the time has come to remove, or at least reduce, this red tape. It reads as follows:
"Companies of all shapes and sizes have today been asked for their views on how to tackle unnecessary bureaucracy in company and commercial law.

For the next three weeks, the latest phase of the Red Tape Challenge will focus on more than 120 company law regulations, guidance and enforcement processes that businesses deal with on a daily basis. The campaign asks for a variety of suggestions about how regulations can be improved, simplified or abolished, whilst maintaining a company law framework that gives companies the flexibility to compete and develop effectively.

Examples of areas open for comment include:

  • Internal workings of companies and partnerships: Rules on shares and share capital, requirement to hold information at business premises and rules on meetings and resolutions.
  • Accounts and returns: The content, form and auditing requirements of financial accounts and other reports.
  • Business names: The rules covering company names. [This is a subject that has some connection to intellectual property: the UK's Intellectual Property Office hosts the Company Names Tribunal, here]
  • Disclosure of company information: The regulations covering the information companies must supply to the official register. 
...
The results of the Red Tape Challenge for company and commercial law will be published later this year".
The IPKat is pleased that this initiative is taking place, but wonders at the same time whether there aren't still some improvements that remain to be  made in the forms and formalities relating to (i) registration of IP rights and dealing with matters arising from them and (ii) IP litigation itself.  He invites readers, regardless of their countries, to submit their comments and suggestions.  Merpel says, don't forget to send your comment in triplicate, typed on one side of the computer screen only, to the IPKat here, with the subject line "Cut the Red Tape".

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