New Intellectual Property Act receives Royal Assent
A new Intellectual Property Act has received the Royal Assent today (15th May 2014) creating powers for the UK to implement the Unified Patent Court Agreement, which will see a single patent across almost all EU countries.
The Act also provides new protections for designers and a number of online services to help businesses better manage their intellectual property.
The key policies that will be implemented include:
- providing new protections for pre-publication research
- the introduction of a criminal sanction for intentional copying of registered designs. This should deter those who knowingly copy UK registered designs and will provide greater protection for our design sector
- measures to help businesses assess the strength of their IP case before going through formal legal proceedings, with the creation of a design opinions service
- the expansion of the existing patent opinions service to give businesses involved in potential patent litigation an impartial view on the strength of their case on a much wider range of issues
- an exemption to the Freedom of Information Act to better protect pre-publication research
- allowing the UK Intellectual Property Office to share information on unpublished patent applications with other national patent offices. This should help clear backlogs internationally
It is expected that the new measures will come into force from October 2014, with all measures implemented by late 2015.