Implementing the Hargreaves review
We will be using this page to provide updates, data, consultation information and progress reports on the work we’re doing and where we are making progress.
Are you an SME? Find out about Hargreaves Implementation the simple guide (125Kb). 'What does Hargreaves mean for SMEs?
Progress to date
Bill proposes reformed intellectual property laws in the UK
UK businesses who want to protect their products and technologies through patents and design rights will be better off as a result of a new Intellectual Property Bill tabled today (10 May 2013) by Intellectual Property (IP) Minister Lord Younger.
The Bill, published today, proposes changes that would help businesses to better understand what is protected under the law, reduce the need for costly litigation, and provide greater certainty for investors in new designs and technologies.
Further information is available in a press release issued today, 10 May 2013
Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 -Your photos and you
This note sets out how the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 will affect photographers. Although it is now law, it will only have an impact once rules for orphan works and extended collective licensing schemes have been developed, fully consulted on and approved by Parliament, which will not happen before 2014.
There have been several reports and commentaries in the media incorrectly claiming that new Orphan Works provisions in the ERR Act will remove the automatic right to copyright for owners of photos posted online. In fact:
1. The powers will not remove copyright for photographs or any other works subject to copyright.
2. They will not allow anyone to use a copyright work without permission and free of charge.
A licence will be needed to use a work as an "orphan". This requires an applicant to undertake a diligent search for the copyright holder, which the Government appointed independent authorising body will have to verify, and then pay a fair price for the licence.
The Act itself contains a number of protections for photographers and other creators, described in the document below. In addition, the detailed rules are being developed with representatives of the photography sectors and other stakeholders. You will also have the opportunity to have your say on the draft Rules in a public consultation.
The facts on some of the more common misunderstandings of the Act have been put together in a myth and fact information document (29Kb).
Policy Statement: Consultation on the Reform of the UK Designs Legal Framework
Today, 30 April 2013, the government published a policy statement on the Reform of the UK Designs Legal Framework (642Kb) in light of the recent consultation. The Government also published updated impact assessments.
The Government intends to legislate as soon as possible to simplify the system. The proposals will be taken forward alongside other non-legislative changes, such as electronic filing, to help streamline registration processes and make them easier for businesses to use. The changes fall broadly into 3 categories:
1. Measures to simplify design law and get the IP framework to better support innovation;
2. Measures for the enforcement of designs and understanding the design rights of others;
3. Process-focussed measures intended to help improve the overall working of the system.
patents changes - publication of responses
Today, 30 April 2013, the Government published its response on the expansion of the Intellectual Property Office’s Patent Opinions Service (180Kb) consultation. The Government also published an updated impact assessment (147Kb).
The response sets out proposals for the expansion of the Patent Opinions Service, which will help businesses resolve more of their disputes without the need for litigation. The proposals will also remove some of the burden of challenging invalid patents from affected businesses.
The Government also published its response on other proposed changes to the Patents Act and accompanying impact assessments. These changes will reduce burdens on business and allow the IPO to continue leading the way in reducing duplication and speeding up patent processing across the major national IP offices through the use of initiatives such as worksharing.
of the modernised IPO Mediation Service
Today, 21 March 2013, the IPO is launching a modernised mediation service to help businesses to more quickly and cheaply resolve their IP disputes.
A call for evidence received responses from business, the legal profession and IP right holders which identified the reasons the mediation service had been used infrequently and how it may be improved to better meet the needs of businesses. See June 2012 and November 2012 entries below for the call for evidence, and Government response respectively.
The service will now offer a greater variety of mediation options (including short telephone sessions), a wider range of specialist accredited mediators and a more flexible fee scale.
on the role of the Intellectual Property Office - publication of response
Today, 26 February 2013, the Government published its response to the informal consultation on the role of the Intellectual Property Office (267Kb).
The informal consultation sought comments on Government's proposals for strengthening the role of the IPO in supporting innovation and growth.
The response sets out Government plans for an annual report on the extent to which the IPO's activities support innovation and growth, statements of the impact new policies are expected to have on innovation, and the relationship between the IPO and competition authorities.
consultation - publication of
Today, Wednesday 9 January 2013, the Government published a summary of responses (806Kb) received during its consultation on the Reform of the UK Designs Legal Framework. The Government received 38 responses from interested parties.
This document summarises responses to the consultation and does not include any policy decisions or announcements. Decisions made as a result of the consultation will be published as soon as possible.
- Changes to create greater freedom to
use copyright works
Today, Thursday 20 December 2012, the Government has published the final part of its response to its Copyright Consultation: "Modernising Copyright: a modern, robust and flexible framework (664Kb)".
The response sets out Government decisions on changes to the framework for 'copyright exceptions'. These changes will introduce greater freedoms in copyright law to allow third parties to use copyright works for a variety of economically and/or socially valuable purposes without the need to seek permission from copyright owners. Protections for the interests of copyright owners and creators are built in to the revised framework.
The Government is committed to achieving strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is shared across the country and between industries. These changes will be good both for creators and users of copyright works.
Government will bring forward secondary legislation to introduce these changes in 2013. Prior to this, the Government will publish the draft regulations for technical review.
Impact assessments associated with this document are available on the professional side of our website.
On 12 November 2012 the IPO has published the response to a call for evidence (630Kb) on its Mediation Service which sought comments on why the service was used infrequently and what more can be done to assist SMEs in resolving disputes before they reach the court system.
The IPO would like to thank all those who took the time to contribute to the consultation.
ideas to growth: Helping SMEs get value from their intellectual property
Today, 7 November 2012, the IPO has published its conclusions (428Kb) to the From Ideas to Growth discussion paper (see April and May entries below for further details). The conclusions have taken into account the discussions and comments received in response to the discussion paper and set out the IPO’s plans for the future. These plans build upon current work and set out new initiatives to ensure that SMEs can access the advice and support they need to understand and maximise the value of intellectual property to their business.
- Minimum standards for UK collecting
The Government has today published the minimum standards (360Kb) which underpin the self-regulatory framework for collecting societies. The minimum standards, which cover fairness, transparency, and good governance, are intended to form the basis of collecting societies’ individual codes of practice. An initial review of these codes will be undertaken by an independent code reviewer in November 2013, one year after launch.
The minimum standards have been developed in conjunction with collecting societies and users as part of the Government’s consultation on copyright reforms. They are intended to be a living document and will evolve to take account of market developments.
The Government is currently taking legislation through Parliament that includes provision for a backstop power that will require a collecting society to adopt a code of practice if its self-regulatory code fails. The consultation on codes of practice concluded that one year was a sufficient period of time for collecting societies to put in place codes that comply with these minimum standards.
a small claims track to the Patents County Court
A new small claims track has today been introduced to the Patents County Court (PCC), which will speed up the court process and make it cheaper and easier, particularly for small and medium sized businesses, to protect their intellectual property (IP) rights.
For further information please read the press release issued on 1 October 2012.
Consultation Regional Stakeholder Events
Following the launch of the Designs Consultation on the 24 July 2012, we will be holding a number of stakeholder events throughout the country. The aim of these events is to obtain as many views as possible from interests on the proposed changes.
If you would like to attend either of the events, please contact the Designs Review Team by 27 August 2012.
Copyright Exchange (DCE) feasibility study
On 31 July 2012, Richard Hooper who is leading the feasibility study into a Digital Copyright Exchange published the Phase 2 final report.
Copyright works: streamlining copyright licensing for the digital age makes a number of recommendations on how copyright licensing could be simplified including the establishment of an industry-led Copyright Hub based in the UK but linked to the growing national and international network of digital copyright exchanges, rights registries and other copyright-related databases.
For more information please read the Phase 2 report (1.28Mb) and the press notice.
on the role of the Intellectual Property Office
Further to the role of the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) published on 12 July (see below) the IPO and Office of Fair Trading (OFT) have now signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) (847Kb) setting out a framework to boost co-operation between the two bodies.
The key features of the MoU are
- Procedures for the IPO to refer competition concerns relating to IP to the OFT for consideration;
- Sharing of knowledge, expertise and best practice in areas of mutual interest;
- Sharing of information, where appropriate and permitted by law;
- Technical and policy assistance, where appropriate and as permitted by law, on projects of mutual interest.
of responses to Copyright Consultation
Today, Thursday 26 July 2012, the Government published the responses it received during its consultation on Copyright. The Government received 471 responses from interested parties.
The submitted responses, with the exception of confidential submissions, are listed in alphabetical order by surname or company/organisation name.
The Government had initially planned to publish the full set of responses alongside its summary (440Kb) published on 14 June 2012. However, in the course of reviewing the responses received, it became clear that a small number of respondents had advanced criticisms or inappropriately criticised the activities of others in the sector. The Government has now carefully reviewed the submissions to establish any potentially defamatory material and has redacted any inappropriate or defamatory comments. Signatures or personal telephone numbers and email addresses have also been redacted for information security purposes.
Fourteen (14) organisations submitted after the consultation closed, and their late submissions are also available in the Intellectual Property Office website.
On 24 July 2012, the Government published its consultation on the reform of the UK Designs Legal Framework.
This consultation follows up on the assessment published at the end of last year, and seeks views on the Government’s proposals for improving the design IP Framework. We are seeking relevant evidence on the potential for the proposed measures to improve the contribution of the design IP system to UK economic growth, and to inform decisions on legislative and other action in these areas.
For further information, please read the press release issued on 24 July 2012.
- IP Crime
The new IP Crime Report 2011/12 (3.1Mb) was launched on 16 July 2012. The report highlights current and emerging threats surrounding counterfeiting and piracy, especially those conducted via the internet. The report also raises awareness around the diverse nature of fake goods especially those with a direct effect on consumer harm.
The report contains statistical data and enforcement activities from enforcement agencies such as trading standards, police and HM Revenue & Customs along with industry bodies.
The previous 2010/11 IP Crime Report (3.12Mb) was launched on 9 August 2011 and examined the threat posed to businesses and individuals by IP crime and highlights examples of successes in combating it.
on the role of the Intellectual Property Office
On 12 July the IPO published its proposals for emphasising the role of the IPO (777Kb) in supporting innovation and growth. These proposals include a duty for IPO to report annually on the extent to which its activities support these and also a commitment to publish alongside its IAs a summary stating the impact that its analysis indicates the policy will have on innovation and growth.
The document also outlines the Memorandum of Understanding agreed between the IPO and the OFT providing a framework for improved co-operation between the two bodies.
Policy Statement: Consultation
on modernising copyright
Today, 2 July 2012, the Government published a policy statement on modernising copyright licensing (406Kb) in light of the recent consultation. The Government also published updated impact assessments on each of the three proposals in the policy statement.
The Government intends to legislate as soon as possible to:
- allow schemes to be introduced for the commercial and non-commercial use of ‘orphan’ copyright works and voluntary extended collective licensing of copyright works, subject to a number of important safeguards, and
- to create a backstop power to require collecting societies to adopt codes of conduct based on minimum standards.
It also sets out the broad parameters that the Government intends to set for these schemes.
The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill currently going through Parliament, provides such an opportunity and the Government plans to lay amendments to introduce these measures in the Committee Stage of the Bill. Once the necessary legislation is in place, there will be further consideration of the details of all these measures, generally through consultation, before the final schemes are laid before Parliament for approval.
On a separate issue not covered by the policy statement, the Government will take a power in the Bill to implement into UK law EU Directive 2011/77/EU on the term of protection for sound recordings, which was agreed in Brussels in late 2011.
The Government has welcomed the views of the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee on this area of work, and is considering its recommendations.
Policy decisions on other issues covered by the consultation - including the Government’s plans to modernise copyright through changes to the UK’s copyright exceptions and the proposed copyright notices scheme - will be set out in a subsequent document later this year. Announcements on other work undertaken in response to the Hargreaves Review will be made separately.
on Copyright: Summary of
Today, Thursday 14 June 2012, the Government published a summary of responses (440Kb) received during its consultation on Copyright. The Government received 471 responses from interested parties.
This document is a summary of what respondents to the Consultation have said on each of the proposals. It is purely a factual document, and does not contain any policy decisions or announcements.
Decisions as a result of the consultation will be announced as soon as possible.
The Government had planned to publish the full set of responses alongside its summary. However, in the course of reviewing the responses received, it has become clear that a number of respondents have advanced criticisms of the activities of others in the sector, and the Government is reviewing the submissions to establish there is no potentially defamatory material in anything it may publish. Once these issues are resolved the Government will publish as many responses as it is able to do without the risk of legal recourse.
The Government would like to thank all those who took the time to contribute to the Consultation.
Today, 12 June, we are inviting stakeholders to respond to a six-week call for evidence (916Kb) on the IPO Mediation Service. The service is used infrequently and we are keen to understand the reasons for this and what more can be done to assist SMEs in resolving disputes before they reach the court system.
On 12 June 2012, Baroness Wilcox, the Minister for Intellectual Property, launched a Government consultation and accompanying impact assessment (147Kb). This consultation is seeking views on the proposals to expand the Intellectual Property Office’s Patent Opinions Service.
The proposals relating to Mediation and Patents Opinions form part of the Government’s response to the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth. For further information on these Alternative Dispute Resolution options, please read the press release issued on 12 June.
ideas to growth: Helping SMEs get value from their intellectual property
Following the "Ideas to Growth (1.06Mb)" paper (see April entry below for further details), a series of roundtable discussions has begun with stakeholders, representative groups, business advisers and SMEs to discuss the paper and seek their input on how we can develop the plans in it. The first of these roundtables took place at Bloomsbury Street on Wednesday 2 May, with Baroness Wilcox hosting, and IPO Innovation Director Rosa Wilkinson managing the discussion."
ideas to growth: Helping SMEs get value from their intellectual property
On 3 April, the IPO published a document entitled "From ideas to growth (1.06Mb)", on how to better help SMEs get value from their intellectual property. This document expanded on plans first set out in the BIS Innovation and Research Strategy on December 8 (see below for further details), by setting out in greater detail how the IPO will deliver new services.
- Digital Copyright
Exchange (DCE) feasibility study
On 27 March 2012, Richard Hooper who is leading the feasibility study into a Digital Copyright Exchange published the Phase 1 diagnostic report.
Rights and Wrongs: is copyright licensing fit for purpose for the digital age? is based on evidence collected through 90 face to face meetings and 117 responses to the Call for Evidence issued on 4 January 2012.
For more information please read the Phase 1 report (954Kb) and the press release.
a small claims track to
the Patents County Court - Government Response
On 26 March 2012, the Government has published the response (257Kb) to a call for evidence which sought comments and any relevant evidence on: the details of how the general small claims track should work in relation to resolving IP disputes; which types of IP dispute could be resolved through it and the renaming of the Patents County Court.
The consultation on copyright closed on 21 March 2012. The Government will publish an analysis of responses within 3 months of this date.
- Notes of Copyright Consultation Events
If you would like an update on what's been going on at our events we have now started to publish readouts of the meetings.
a small claims track to
the Patents County Court
On 15 November 2011, the Government confirmed that following the completion of a positive value for money case, it will be introducing a small claims track to the Patents County Court.
Today, 19 January 2012, we are inviting stakeholders to respond to a call for evidence which seeks comments and any relevant evidence on: the details of how the general small claims track should work in relation to resolving IP disputes; which types of IP dispute could be resolved through it and the renaming of the Patents County Court.
For further information please see the call for evidence (189Kb) and draft impact assessment (283Kb).
Exchange (DCE) feasibility study
On 4 January 2012, Richard Hooper, who is leading a feasibility study into a Digital Copyright Exchange, invited stakeholders within the creative industries to respond to a call for evidence which asks two questions:
- First, whether they agree with the 'Hargreaves Hypothesis' - that the current copyright licensing system
is not fit for purpose for the digital age;
- Secondly whether they agree with his proposed definitions, including the market definition.
For further information please see the feasibility study and call for evidence (142Kb).
On 19 December 2011, the IPO has published its assessment of the need to simplify the system. This paper details the current state of our research and our views on the need for more. It also records the suggestions for reform of the design IP framework that have been submitted to the Call for Evidence and survey.
On 14 December 2011, Baroness Wilcox, the Minister for Intellectual Property, launched a Government consultation seeking views on the Government’s proposals for implementing a number of the recommendations, relating to Copyright, it accepted in its response to the Hargreaves Review of IP and Growth.
For further information, please read the press release issued on 14 December.
Support for SMEs
On December 8 a package of measures was announced, as part of the Government's Innovation and Research Strategy for Growth, outlining the IPO's plans to improve accessibility of the IP system to smaller companies, including lower cost integrated IP legal and commercial advice provision.
For further information, please read the press release issued on 8 December.
In its response to Hargreaves the Government committed to consider renaming the Patents County Court to the Intellectual Property County Court by Autumn 2011. We have been considering the issues and require further evidence to establish the case for change. We continue to look for a low-cost way to change its name, which will enable businesses to readily identify which court resolves intellectual property cases. The change of name would build on a number of initiatives we have worked on to improve small business' access to justice such as the announcement of a small claims track to the Patents County Court.
Thickets - An Overview
In the Government Response to the Hargreaves Review the IPO made a commitment to investigate the scale and prevalence of patent thickets. This included looking into the potential effects of thickets on new market entrants (such as SMEs) in technology sectors.
Today, 25 November 2011, the IPO has published a report entitled "Patent Thickets - An Overview". Amongst other things, this report looks at how we define patent thickets, tools which help to automatically identify them, and where they might be found. In the coming months the IPO will build on the findings in this report, specifically in relation to market barriers to SMEs in technology sectors.
For further information please read the report Patent Thickets - An Overview (1.35Mb).
Hooper to lead Digital Copyright Exchange feasibility study
Business Secretary Vince Cable announces the appointment of Richard Hooper to lead a feasibility study on developing a Digital Copyright Exchange in the UK.
Read more about Richard's appointment.
small claims service announced
In its response to Hargreaves Review, the Government committed to introducing a small claims track into the Patents County Court (PCC), subject to a value for money case being made. Today, 15 November, we are pleased to confirm that following a positive value for money case the Government has announced it will be introducing a small claims track to the PCC, which we hope will be operational before the end of next year.
For further information, read the press release issued on 15 November 2011.
Have your say
The Designs Call for Evidence closed on 11 November 2011; we would like to thank all those who took the time to contribute to this and the survey and we hope to update you shortly on our findings.
Check out our Hargreaves Designs page for further information.
- New law helps businesses protect their
A new law came into force on 1 October giving small and medium sized businesses easier access to justice to protect their copyright and trade marks. The Patents County Court (Financial Limits) Order (No.2) 2011 creates a clearer definition of which disputes involving copyright and trade mark claims should be heard in the Patents County Court (PCC) and which ones should go to the High Court.
For further information read the press release issued on 1 October 2011.
The Prime Minister commissioned the Hargreaves Review of IP and Growth in November 2010.
- The Review made 10 key recommendations.
- The Government is focused on boosting growth and the Hargreaves review highlighted the potential to grow the UK economy by up to £7.9 billion.