Law Commission urges Government to reform intellectual property law ‘to protect businesses’
New rules on intellectual property will protect businesses and drive economic growth, the Law Commission has said.
The independent body has published a new Bill at the request of Government, that would implement reforms it recommended in 2014.
If enacted, the Bill would bring the law for trademarks and designs into line with that for patents, seeking to provide a much clearer framework within which businesses and their professional advisers operate to resolve disputes.
According to the Law Commission, the legislation would protect retailers, suppliers and customers against threats and provide more certainty over what approaches can be made legitimately to potential infringers.
It would also bring more clarity over when businesses can safely threaten competitors who do infringe their IP rights and protect professional advisers from being sued for making threats when they act for their clients.
The Bill is published with an explanatory report: '
Patents, Trade Marks and Designs: Unjustified Threats'.
The report also makes two new recommendations that would apply the reformed law to the unitary patent, which is a new right that will make it easier to protect an invention across the EU.
Stephen Lewis, Law Commissioner for commercial and common law, said: “Patents, trademarks and design rights are valuable IP rights and vital to economic growth. They ensure that research and innovation is encouraged and rewarded. And, for some small businesses, they can represent their most significant assets.
“The law provides effective ways to enforce IP rights but these can be misused to drive competitors from the market. If implemented, our reforms will make sure that businesses continue to be protected against competitors who misuse threats while making it easier for innovative businesses, their competitors and their professional advisers to negotiate a settlement and avoid litigation.”
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