Intellectual Property Bill receives royal assent

03 April 2014

The Intellectual Property Bill returned to the Lords for consideration of Commons' changes on Wednesday 2 April

Members of the Lords considered a series of government amendments to guard against possible unintended consequences of the simplification of eligibility requirements for UK unregistered design rights. The changes ensure the design framework continues to support UK businesses.

The government also offered clarification on the new criminal sanction for intentionally copying a UK or EU-registered design without consent.

All changes were agreed without a vote and the Intellectual Property Bill received royal assent on Wednesday 14 May 2014. 

Intellectual Property Bill third reading: Tuesday 30 July

The bill completed its passage through the Lords and moved to the House of Commons for its consideration.

Intellectual Property Bill report stage: Tuesday 23 July

Members of the Lords began by discussing an amendment that opposed the introduction of penalties for unauthorised copying of registered designs, with those who proposed the amendment arguing the offence may inadvertently capture innocent infringement. The amendment went to a vote with 153 voting for and 233 against, so the change was not made.

Peers also discussed the recognition of foreign copyright works and the creation of ‘lookalike’ designs and packaging.

Intellectual Property Bill grand committee stage

The Intellectual Property Bill spent three days in grand committee in the Moses Room. The process is almost identical to committee stage taken in the chamber as members carry out a detailed line by line examination of the separate parts (clauses and schedules) of a bill.

Starting from the front of the bill, members work through to the end. Any member of the Lords can take part. The single exception is that votes do not take place in a grand committee. Any issues requiring a vote must be resolved when the bill returns to the main chamber for report stage.

11 June (day one):

13 June (day two):

18 June (day three):

Intellectual property bill second reading: Wednesday 22 May

Three main aims of the bill were identified, firstly to simplify and improve design and patent protection, secondly to clarify the intellectual property (IP) legal framework and thirdly to ensure that the international IP system supports UK business. One of the key areas of debate was how a new intellectual property framework could contribute to UK economic growth.

Concerns were raised over whether the bill does enough to deal with IP problems, which it was felt go deeper than the measures outlined in the bill. The government were also asked whether planned penalties for copying a registered design (up to 10 years’ imprisonment) were appropriate.

Intellectual Property Bill summary

The bill makes changes to the law around intellectual property rights, including design, patents, freedom of information and recognition of foreign copyright.

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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