"The Group has decided to look at this important issue because responsibility for development and enforcement of IP policy sits across many Government departments and agencies [This is certainly true. Plant varieties and geographical indications, for example, lie outside the control of the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and, while the IPO has some input on copyright and media matters, these topics are also allocated elsewhere]. There have been numerous reviews into IP policy in the last ten years but the decision-making framework within which policy is developed and agreed has not been sufficiently examined.
The Group will seek to unpick the tangled web of cross-departmental responsibilities in this area by considering how policy has been developed, the effectiveness of the current approach, and whether the machinery of government can be improved for better policy formulation" [Can Merpel hear the growing rumble of discontent from various quarters about the handling of the issues leading up to and then beyond the Hargreaves Review?].The All-Party Group seems to have set itself a very tight timetable because it wants to feed its findings into the White Paper due in early summer. Submissions responding to the following six questions must be submitted by 30 March. There is a limit of four pages, so massive detail is not required, but examples or evidence supporting comments will be helpful.
(1) What should the objective of IP policy be?Four pages isn't very much -- it's hardly even a student assignment -- so do take up the challenge, says the IPKat. It might be your last chance to make a point or two while at least some British Parliamentarians are keen to hear it.
(2) How well coordinated is the development of IP policy across Government? Is IP policy
functioning effectively on a cross-departmental basis? What changes to the machinery of
government do you believe would deliver better IP policy outcomes?
(3) There have been numerous attempts to update the IP framework in the light of changes brought about by the digital environment. How successful have these been and what lessons can be learnt from these for policy developments?
(4) How effective is the Intellectual Property Office and what should its priorities be?
(5) UK IP policy sits within European and supranational agreements. How should the UK
government coordinate its policy at an international level and what should it do to promote
IP abroad to encourage economic growth? Do you have examples of good and poor practice
in this area?
(6) Protecting, and enforcement of, the IP framework often sits in very different departments to
those that develop IP policy and those that have responsibility for the industries most affected. What impact does this have and how can it be improved?
Ten Days That Shook the World here