Everything You Need To Know About UK Intellectual property Act 2014, Effective 1 Oct, 2014

Ratification by UK, France and Germany was most crucial for bringing into force the international agreement that shall bring into operations a Unified patent Court in Europe. This makes the Royal Assent given to Intellectual Property Bill 2014 received on 14 May 2014 in UK so very important.

Now, it is referred to as the Intellectual Property Act 2014.

The Act is aimed at modernizing of IP law to help UK businesses-

Better protect their IP rights in the UK and abroad

 Driving economic growth

Encourage innovation

Expand the range of economic sectors in the UK

 Benefits To UK’s Design Sector:

 Clause 13
Design Protection
 Before After
 Weak Strengthened:
Criminal penalties for deliberate copying of a registered design are levied helping designers enforce their rights
 Clause 3
Scope of Unregistered Design Right Defined
This would simplify the law, as it should make it clearer for designers and third parties to establish what is covered by the unregistered design right.
 Clause 11
Design Rights Opinions Service
 Before After
 Unavailable Low cost Design Rights Opinions Service similar to the existing Patent Opinions Service run by the IPO has been introducedBenefits:-Enables more IP disputes (infringement or ownership related) to be settled without resorting to expensive and time-consuming litigation – You may ask for a review of the situation to come out of any uncertainty about whether your design is infringe upon another’s design or not
 Clause 2 &6
Design Ownership
 Before After
 Confusion existed Issues Resolved – UK law in line with EU law
The default owner of a design (not the commissioner) will be the designer, unless a contractual agreement has been set up transferring IP rights to someone else.An employer continues to own the rights to any design that an employee produce as part of the job and under the terms of their employment contract.
Clause 4
Private use of unregistered designs
 Before After
  – New exceptions to the law would be introduced to allow third parties to use unregistered designs for private use or experimental purposes. – Commercial use of designs will still require the permission of the rights holder.

Benefits To UK’s Patents Holders – Inventors, SMEs, Businesses:

 Clause 12
Easy Access to IPO Services
 BeforeAfter 
 Unavailable Measures in the Bill will reduce
–  Bureaucracy-  Provide high quality service
–  There will be changes in operating hours, operational procedures etc. to better meet the needs of its customers
 Clause 18
Patents Information Sharing Facility
 Before  After
  Unavailable UK Intellectual Property Office will be allowed to send more UK patent information to other patent offices, on a confidential basis.Benefits:-Will help speed up the patent-granting process around the world- Reduce the need to repeat work that has already been completed- Gaining a granted patent sooner can help your business by leading to earlier investment and increased market certainty, helping new products reach the market quicker.
 Clause 17
Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court
 Before After
 The system was costly and fragmented system.   The IP Bill will enable the UK to bring the Unified Patent Court into effect.Benefits:– Will give businesses a more streamlined and cost effective option of protecting their inventions across Europe- Every patent holder will have the option to send one application to secure a single patent valid in 25 EU countries- Enforcing the patent at the new Unified Patent Court will be easier and cheaper than fighting the case in the courts of each country where the patent is valid, for patent holders as well as a third party
 Clause 16
Changes to the Patent Opinions Service
 Before After
 If a patent was invalid, it is the responsibility of the third party to start revocation proceedings if necessary. It was a costly and lengthy process.  Post these changes, IPO would be able to start the process of revoking a patent on behalf of the third party, if an opinion shows a patent is clearly invalid.Benefit:This would remove the unfair monopoly that these invalid patents provide, and give more freedom to innovate.
 Note:
IPO would be giving you the opportunity to provide arguments as to why your patent is new and inventive and/or you would be given the opportunity to amend the claims of your patent to try to overcome this.
 Clause 15
Marking Patented Products with a Web Address
 Before After
 Patent Numbers Benefits:-Making it cheaper to let everyone know about your patents and access the latest patent details.- It will be easy to find the latest patent information for a particular product, by accessing up-to-date patent details on the webpage provided.

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