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A reform of the law of unjustified threats on intellectual property infringement

Written by Sam O'Toole on 30 January 2016

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In October 2015, following a Law Commission report in relation to a reform of the law of unjustified threats on intellectual property infringement, the Intellectual Property Office launched a consultation to explore the industry’s attitude towards the potential reforms. The Intellectual Property Office received 12 responses, all supporting the reform, it was expressed that there are inconsistencies in the current law.

The Government has acknowledged and accepted the recommendations for reform. The reforms aim to bring the law in relation to trade marks and designs level to that of patents.

A key reform would be to produce clear framework to which disputing parties can utilise to avoid litigation and resolve the dispute. Intellectual property rights holders would be afforded the right to challenge a primary actor without coming upon a groundless threat action. With professional advisors would be protected against facing personal legal action for making threats when acting for their client.

The Government has expressed that it will continue to investigate the reforms, utilising the special procedure for bills that implement the Law Commission’s recommendations.

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