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January 28, 2011 / Sophie_Paterson

The future of IP law, who’s asking you?

“The future of the economy lies in the highly skilled, technology sectors. For many of those companies their intellectual property is their most valuable asset.” Baroness Wilcox (2010)

The Intellectual Property Office sits within the Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills and its remit is described thus, ‘responsible for the national framework of Intellectual Property rights, comprising patents, designs, trademarks and copyright. Its role is to help manage an IP system that encourages innovation and creativity, balances the needs of consumers and users, promotes strong and competitive markets and is the foundation of the knowledge based economy.’

our IP system should encourage creativity

There is currently a huge debate surrounding the Government’s ongoing Intellectual Property review which seeks ‘to identify barriers to growth within the IP framework, which consists of the rules and regulations covering how IP is created, used and protected in this country. It will particularly focus on how the IP system can be improved to help the new business models arising from the digital age.’ The six month review is being lead by Professor Ian Hargreaves (author of the report for WAG on the Creative and Cultural Industries in  Wales) and you can read the terms of reference  here.

For many years IP law has struggled to keep pace with the internet and advancing technology and it is hoped that the outcome of the review, which is due in April 2011, will have a huge positive impact on creative industries in the UK, making it easier to create, protect and capitalise on Intellectual Property. The government believes that the output from this review will make Britain the most attractive place in the world to start and invest in innovative technology companies.

Alongside this UK IP review, the European Commission is currently consulting on the implementation and impact of the Artist’s Resale Right. The outcome from that review could impact how artists or their estate benefit when a piece of work is resold.

DACS, a not-for-profit visual arts rights management organisation is seeking input from artists to inform their part in both consultation processes. Have your say. Do you know of other public consultations on the review? Let us know.

The IPO has issued a call for responses which closes on the 1st of March

Update: Lawrence Kaye has written an excellent piece on the topic here

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