Following on from fellow Kat Darren M.'s post earlier today, this Kat has now had a chance to sneak a peak at the amendments to the IP Bill that are listed as at the second reading, which are noted here.
To make sense of them, you need the previous draft of the Bill, and of course you have to go back in each case to the legislation being amended. This Kat has not yet had a chance to study the speeches from the second reading, which are doubtless illuminating.
The amendments seem to be as follows.
A. Amendments put forward by David Willetts
Firstly, a proposed change to widen the qualification requirements for unregistered design right (UDR) has been amended. While the previous version of the Bill had a proposal to change qualification by reference to first marketing that would have allowed a wider range of non-EU companies to qualify for UDR by reference to first marketing within the EU, this has now been restricted somewhat.
The previous proposal allowed a company to qualify for UDR if it has "in any qualifying country a place of business at which substantial business activity is carried on". Then, provided that the first marketing took place in a "qualifying country" (which primarily means the EU, plus some crown dependencies and commonwealth countries) then UDR would be granted.
According to the amendments proposed, it is now further necessary that the company "is formed under the law of the UK or another qualifying country". So it is no longer possible for, say, a US or Japanese company to obtain UDR by this route. So according to the current proposal, the only significant amendment to s220 of the CDPA 1988 (Qualification by reference to first marketing) is that it is not necessary for the qualifying person to the "exclusively authorised to put such articles on the market in the United Kingdom".
Criminal sanctions for design infringement
Despite campaigning (see IPKat here, here and here), there is no amendment to extend criminal sanctions for registered design infringement to unregistered designs. Instead, there are two welcome sets of amendments. The first is to insert "intentionally" in several places to indicate that for the criminal sanctions to apply the copying must be deliberate. Also, the scope of the criminal infringement by copying has been changed from "make a product exactly or substantially to the design" (which raised concerns as to what "substantially" means in this context) to "make a product (i) exactly to that design or (ii) with features that differ only in immaterial details from that design". This of course matches the test for novelty of a registered design.
This Kat welcomes these changes, and imagines that others will too.
B. Amendments put forward by Dr Julian Huppert
In clause 20 (Freedom of information: exemption from research) the following amendment (a proposed new section of the Freedom of Information Act 2000) is proposed (new words in italics):
Information created or obtained in the planning of, course of, or derived from, a programme of research is exempt information if...[wording as proposed in previous version of Bill]This Kat is not very familiar with this bit of the IP Bill but records it for completeness.