Minister for Universities and Science David Willets says the Bill ‘will offer real support to Britain’s 350,000 designers, which is long overdue.’
The second reading of the bill in January established that accidental copying of design ‘will not be criminalised’.
This has now been sanctioned, and Willets says ‘We have listened to concerns that the wording of the criminal sanction is not clearly enough defined.
‘Amendments were made in Committee that were welcomed by industry organisations the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, the Institute of Trade Mark Attorneys and the IP Federation. The Bill that we are sending back for the other place to consider has been further improved.’
The criminalisation of copying design has drawn the most debate during the readings of the bill.
On this matter Willetts said, ‘Opinion remains divided on whether a criminal sanction for design copying is necessary, but I believe that the right balance has been drawn and I look forward to seeing how the sanction has deterred criminal activity from taking place.’
In an interesting aside Willetts said, ‘On the basis of my recent visits to China I can assure the House that we are noticing a significant change in China’s attitude towards IP.
‘It is putting resources behind enforcement and we are engaging closely with it. Most recently, the Intellectual Property Office and City of London Police met senior Chinese police and customs officers and contributed to an Interpol training programme for 400 Chinese police managers.