The Intellectual Property Act 2014: What Has Changed?
One of primary requests for legal assistance received by Linkilaw is around the issues of patents, trademarks and IP infringement. With the Intellectual Property Act 2014 coming into force on 1st October 2014 and creating changes to issues of designs and patents, we’ve listed below some of the key changes;
1. Ownership When Design Work Is Outsourced
Unless you create a contract that says otherwise, the designers you outsource work too will own the rights to their work and not the end client or commissioning party.
2. Criminal Offence
Intentionally copying a registered design is now a criminal offence, it had previously been a civil matter. If you’re convicted of this offence then it could mean a hefty fine and/or up to 10 years porridge at her majesty’s pleasure. Note, this is similar to what already exists with copyright and trademarks plus it applies to ‘registered’ designs – get advice if you need to understand the nuances, as the penalty is now severe.
3. Patents Opinion Service
Much wider range of issues can now be covered by the Intellectual Property Office via the Patents Opinion Service (POS). The POS will provide opinions on the strength of IP cases, infringement of designs etc.
4. Patents Can Be Marked With Internet Links
Patents have traditionally been marked only with numbers but now the patents will have internet links with a website URL.
5. Easier Admin And Cheaper Process
We never quite believe it when we’re told that changes will reduce admin and save costs but, allegedly, the Unified Patent Court will make the process less rigorous and enable a smoother resolution of disputes. There is also a claim, according to the IPO, of an estimated annual saving to SMEs of £40m.
6. Copyright Changes
There are a number of copyright changes including exceptions to copyright infringement for private and/or non-commercial copy of a work. Also for making parody or pastiche or copy for archiving and presentation.
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