New UK Copyright and Enforcement Directorate

The new Patent Office comptroller* Ian Fletcher has announced that a new Directorate under his control is to be set up. He says,
"The UK-IPO plays a vital role in the UK’s economic prosperity which is increasingly driven by the successful development and exploitation of our country’s creative and innovation capital.

The Creative Industries are a key component of the economy and one of the fastest growing sectors. This success is dependant[sic] on a modern, fit for purpose copyright framework, education and enforcement infrastructure.

Since my arrival, I have been considering how the UK-IPO should move forward to meet the challenges of globalisation and the digital age in the post Gowers world.

This has led me and the Board to conclude that a restructuring of our current policy Directorate (IPID) is required. Therefore, I have decided to divide out some of IPID’s current responsibilities and create a new separate Copyright and Enforcement Directorate with immediate effect."

The IPKat (who, for the moment, will forgive Mr Fletcher for not recognising the difference between English and American spellings) looks forward to seeing what this new beast will be tasked with doing. He also wonders what in the way of enforcement the Directorate will be doing. Will copyright infringers have to answer in future to the Intellectual Property Office as well as to collecting societies, trading standards and copyright owners?

*The IPKat prefers this to "Chief Executive", which now seems to be the preferred title. He also notes that the word "comptroller" is still mentioned many times in the UK Patents Act. If Mr Fletcher does not want to be known as the comptroller, the IPKat would like to know who does so that patent attorneys can address their letters correctly.
New UK Copyright and Enforcement Directorate New UK Copyright and Enforcement Directorate Reviewed by David Pearce on Thursday, May 17, 2007 Rating: 5


  1. Any link for this? Can't see it anywhere on the IPO site...(which is utterly shite, shouldn't Gowers have recommended an upgrade???)

  2. Titles! Is Mr. Fletcher also Registrar for Trade Marks? I have failed so far to find out if such a person still exists since Ron Marchant's retirement.

  3. Yeah, link please to - Thanks!

  4. I thought the pedantic titles thing might prompt a response. I am assuming that Mr Fletcher is still comptroller of patents and registrar of trade marks, together with any other official titles he needs.

    The announcement was not made on the website, as far as I know, but by email to "stakeholders", of which I am presumably one. Send an email to if you want to subscribe to future announcements.

  5. I do not quite understand the Kat's reference to English and American spellings. Is it a reference to the use of "globalisation" rather than "globalization"? I have my doubts as to whether there is an English word "globalization at all, and would therefore see the US form as being appropriate. Or is it the use of the somewhat antiquated English? word "dependant"?

  6. Quoting from Collins concise English dictionary, 5th edition:

    "Usage note: Dependant is the generally accepted spelling in British usage for the noun: if you are single and have no dependants,... The adjective should be spelt dependent: tax allowance for dependent (not dependant) children... American usage spells both adjective and noun with an e in the last syllable".

  7. Exactly - dependant is not a US form.

  8. But in the apparent desire to be British, the wrong word was used. Has dependant ever been used as an adjective?

  9. From the OED: "dependent a. ...[ME, earlier -ant = DEPENDANT]"

  10. The pedantry stakes have been raised far too high. I fold.


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