May 18, 2016

UK Government Publishes Report on its IP Infringement Strategy until 2020

New strategies and proposals have been set out in a Government paper entitled, "Protecting creativity, supporting innovation: IP Enforcement 2020", published 10 May 2016.  The document sets out how it will make "effective, proportionate and accessible enforcement of IP rights a priority over the next four years."

The proposals are intended to put into effect the commitments made in the Conservative Manifesto.  In particular:

Protection of IP rights by continuing to require ISP's to block sites that carry large amounts of illegal content; and
Build on the voluntary anti-piracy projects to warn users when they are breaching copyright.

The report praises the UK's good reputation both domestically and internationally in tackling IP infringement, however, it stresses that more needs to be done in order to retain this status.

The main areas the Government identifies as requiring action are:

Reducing the level of illegal content online.
Tackling the trade in counterfeit goods.
Further strengthening the legal framework to facilitate easier access to justice.
Increasing education, awareness and building respect for IP.
Making it safer for UK rights holders and businesses to trade internationally.
Improving the evidence base.

The report sets out more detail of how it intends to tackle these key areas (see pages 20-34).

The Government is keen to ensure that businesses and individuals have adequate legal means to protect their work and rights. It will do this by campaigning for stronger legislative controls against search engines, internet service providers and bodies involved in the sale of counterfeit goods.

The Government would also like to have a better understanding of the extent of infringement in the UK and plans to work with various professional bodies to accumulate this data which it will publish annually in an effort to be more transparent about infringement of IP rights.

in: Copyright, Designs, Legal News, News, Patents, Trade Marks

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