Intellectual Property Bill: what to look out for in 2014

The Intellectual Property Bill was introduced in May 2013 and should become law in 2014. The bill implements a number of the government’s responses to the Hargreaves Review of intellectual property and is intended to modernise aspects of the law relating to intellectual property, particularly relating to patents and designs. 

The bill includes provisions for: the UK to implement the Unitary Patent Court Agreement, which will enable pan-European enforcement of the new European unitary patent rather than requiring actions to be brought separately within the courts of individual member states; the introduction of criminal penalties for infringement of UK-registered designs, bringing the law into line with the existing position for copyright and trademark infringement; a change in the ownership rules for commissioned designs to strengthen design protection; changes to the registration and appeals process for registered designs; and a designs opinion service and an expanded patents opinion service by which proprietors could ask the UK Intellectual Property Office to provide an expert opinion on whether a UK design or patent is valid or is being infringed…

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