Government improves protection against “groundless” IP threats

The new regulations will protect companies against threats designed to intimidate or for unfair advantage, but not when an actual incident of IP infringement has occurred.

Image by Rupert Ganzer
Image by Rupert Ganzer

The UK government is rolling out new regulations which it says will protect businesses against “groundless” accusations of intellectual property theft.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills says the new regulations will protect against “unfair” accusations which are made “for the sole purpose of intimidation or to seek an unfair advantage”.

The regulations will not protect companies against accusations when an actual infringement of IP has occurred.

The measures are in response to a Law Commission report which aimed to address fears that regulations were overly complex and ineffective.

Government says the new reforms will make it easier for parties to settle disputes out of court, as well as other provisions.

Intellectual Property Minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe says: “We are improving protection against groundless threats of intellectual property infringement that small businesses can face.

“Our reforms will make sure the law properly protects businesses from being threatened unfairly, but also allow innovative businesses to resolve disputes legitimately and enforce their rights.”

You can read the government’s response to the Law Society report in full here.

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