Review charged with fence-sitting by IP lawyers

Yesterday’s Gowers Review of Intellectual Property does not go far enough to protect designers against copyright infringement, according to IP experts in the design field.


Several submissions were made for the review by industry lobby group Anti-Copying In Design, including calls for the introduction of a new law of unlawful imitation, for design right infringements to have criminal sanctions and for an increase in exemplary damages.


However, Simon Clark, head of IP at law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner, believes these admissions have been overlooked.


According to Clark, key issues of concern are that the review did not make any proposal to simplify the nine different laws on design copyright, that while there was a proposal for a general voluntary copyright register, there was no mention of one for designers and no demand for higher damages for design copyright infringement was made.


‘It is disappointing in that it [the review] continues to sit on the fence on important issues like the adequacy of civil compensation payments for IP rights infringements,’ Clark says.


The Review was unveiled by the Treasury yesterday. For the full report see http://www.hmtreasury.gov.uk/independent_reviews.

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