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29 September 2014 0 Comments
Posted in Opinion, Technology & media

Intellectual Property Act 2014 comes into force in October

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The Intellectual Property Act 2014 modernises intellectual property (IP) law to help UK businesses better protect their IP rights in the UK and abroad. The provisions within the act aim to support business in driving economic growth, encourage innovation and expand the range of economic sectors in the UK. The Act also implements the reforms to the design IP framework which flow from the Hargreaves review of Intellectual Property and Growth in 2011.

The Intellectual Property Bill was considered by Parliament between May 2013 and April 2014. It received Royal Assent on 14 May 2014 and became the Intellectual Property Act 2014.

The main benefits of the Act are to:

  • save UK businesses up to £40 million per annum in language translation costs when applying for Europe-wide patent (£20,000 per patent)
  • simplify and strengthen design protection for the UK’s hugely important design sector
  • make the IP system clearer and more accessible to small and medium-sized businesses
  • ensure the UK IP system is operating efficiently

The provisions in the Act come into force from 1 October 2014 and the IP Act includes measures that will:

  • make it easier for businesses to understand what is protected under design law, in order to aid innovation and make investment in the design sector safer and clearer
  • make design ownership clearer to encourage trade in design intangible assets and reduce costs for business
  • strengthen design protection through the introduction of criminal penalties for copying UK registered designs, helping designers enforce their rights
  • introduce a design rights opinions service with the aim of enabling more IP disputes to be settled without resorting to expensive and time-consuming litigation
  • provide a power to implement the Unified Patent Court based in London. This will help to introduce a single patent system in almost all EU countries making it possible for British businesses to protect their inventions across countries in a single patent. Any disputes about patents in the field of pharmaceuticals and life sciences will be held in the UK part of that court
  • allow the UK to share information on unpublished patent applications to help clear existing application backlogs and speed up clearance times at other patent offices.

At Royds, our experts can provide comprehensive advice on all aspects of intellectual property law, including the latest changes introduced under the Intellectual Property Act. For more information please visit or contact Stephen Welfare or John North.

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