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.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

A question for the UK government: will simpler IP law mean less law -- or more?

This Kat may be thousands of miles from home, but he does keep up to date when he can through leads kindly forwarded to him by friends and readers. He was thus delighted to receive from old Katfriend Chris de Mauny this link to the BBC's report on today's Queen's Speech, the formal statement of Her Majesty's government's legislative intentions in the forthcoming session of Parliament.  One such item mentioned in today's summary is this:

Intellectual Property Bill

This bill is designed to simplify patent and design protection laws. It will implement the Unified Patent Court, which will mean that a single patent application will be valid in almost all EU countries. The bill will introduce criminal penalties for breaching UK protected designs, and bring in measures to speed up the patent-application process. It will apply to the whole of the UK.
Let's look a little more closely, says the IPKat.
This bill is designed to simplify patent and design protection laws [If the word 'simplify' means 'make simple', this Kat has some doubts that this will happen for patents, which are just about to become a good deal more complex. Given the facility for non-unitary patent holders to opt out of the Unified Patent Court system, the requirement to legislate for choice of forum and the need for transitional provisions, simplification is not an option.  With regard to design protection, the prospect of simplification is necessary, desirable and even possible. At present, the protection of a design in the UK may be achieved via four distinct and separate design rights -- two at EU level and two under national law -- plus copyright and even trade mark protection. However, Parliament's scope for simplification is limited by virtue of the fact that the two EU rights are untouchable]
It will implement the Unified Patent Court, which will mean that a single patent application will be valid in almost all EU countries [can anyone spot a non-sequitur here ...?]. 
The bill will introduce criminal penalties for breaching [whatever happened to 'infringing'?] UK protected designs, and bring in measures to speed up the patent-application process [on which see earlier Katpost here]. It will apply to the whole of the UK [though it might be interesting to see what happens if, following the Scottish Referendum on 18 September 2014, Scotland decides to leave the UK before any of the relevant provisions of this Bill have been brought into effect].
Although a cat may look at a King, no members of the Kat team have been privileged with the chance to read the Bill ahead of its publication. Accordingly, we will be returning to this Bill, its contents and its progress in the fullness of time.

The speech in full: here

1 comment:

Mark Richardson said...

The progress of the Intellectual Property Bill can be tracked here.

(Link in full is http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2013-14/intellectualproperty.html)

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