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What impact will the Intellectual Property Law 2014 have on your business?

The Intellectual Property Law is changing to help businesses better protect their rights in the UK and abroad and to modernise certain aspects of the law. The provisions to the Act will start to come into force from 1st October 2014 and will aim to support businesses in driving economic growth, encourage innovation and expand the range of economic sectors in the UK. Changes to the Intellectual Property Law will not have a major impact on businesses, the aim is to tidy up parts of some existing IP laws, in particular to design and patent law.

Changes to Designs

One of the key parts are the amendments being made to designs, the Act will introduce the following changes:

  1. Make design ownership clearer, to encourage trade in design and reduce costs for business.
  2. Make it less complicated for businesses to understand what is protected under design law, to make investment in the design sector safer and clearer.
  3. Criminal liability and penalties for infringers, helping designers to enforce their rights.
  4. Added protections for designers, as well as removing red tape and some of the concerns businesses have when protecting their designs.
  5. A variety of online services to assist businesses when managing their intellectual property.
  6. A design rights opinions service with the aim of enabling more IP disputes to be settled without resorting to expensive and time-consuming litigation.

Changes to Patents

There are a number of revisions being made to Patents, some of the changes are:

  1. The formation of new powers for the UK to implement the Unified Patent Court Agreement. This means introducing one patent enforcement process across almost all EU countries in return for what are said to be significant savings for businesses in the UK.
  2. Businesses will have the option of marking a product with a web address, instead of the patent number and country of the patent. The web address must be of a webpage that includes the patent number(s) relevant to that product. Marking is really important as it allows others to easily identify that you have patent protection and could help stop accidental infringement of your patent. It may also help you get damages from an infringer. This measure brings marking provisions up to date and lets businesses keep the information up to date more easily.
  3. Increased powers of IPO: as broader power to give opinions and the Comptroller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks has greater power to revoke a patent on his own initiative if it later turns out that it should not have been granted.
  4. Permits information sharing: The act allows the IPO to share information on unpublished patent applications with international partners to make patent processing quicker. 5. There are a few other minor amendments made to the Patents Act 1977 which include extending the time during which a third party can challenge ownership of a granted patent. These changes will no doubt make applying and managing you patent and/or design much easier.

Downing IP are experts in their field and one of the best intellectual property companies in the UK. We work with our clients to support and guide them through the trademark, patent and design application process ensuring the process is as smooth as possible.

For confidential advice regarding your patent, trademark or design you can contact a member of our team on 01494 422626 or fill in our "online contact form":

For more information on our Intellectual Property services please visit our website "":

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