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Implementing the Hargreaves review

In May 2011 Professor Ian Hargreaves published his Independent review of IP & growth. The 10 recommendations were broadly accepted in the Government's response PDF document(402Kb) issued on 3 August 2011.

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 PDF document(124Kb). 'What does Hargreaves mean for SMEs?

The IPO has also provided a guide to the IP Bill for SMEs, explaining what some of the proposed changes to IP law on Designs PDF document(287Kb) and Patents PDF document(293Kb) would mean.

Progress to date

March 2014

  • Exceptions to copyright law - Update following Technical Review Latest addition

    The government has today laid before Parliament the final drafts of the Exceptions to Copyright regulations. The changes make small but important reforms to UK copyright law and aim to end the current situation where minor and reasonable acts of copying which benefit consumers, society and the economy are unlawful. They also remove a range of unnecessary rules and regulations from the statute book in line with the government’s aim to reduce regulation.

    The government has also produced a set of eight ‘plain English’ guides that explain what the changes mean for different sectors. The guides explain the nature of these changes to copyright law and answer key questions, including many raised during the government's consultation process. The guides cover areas including disability groups, teachers, researchers, librarians, creators and rights holders, and consumers.

    The response to the Technical Review and the guidance are available on our website. The regulations, explanatory memorandum and associated documents can be accessed through the Legislation website External Link.
  • Update on progress of Exceptions to Copyright regulations

    The Government has today 7 March provided an update on the progress of new exceptions to copyright regulations, in response to a written parliamentary question.

    Following a technical review in the summer of 2013, the Government has made a number of technical changes to the draft regulations. The regulations are now subject to final checking, and in accordance with routine practice the Department is currently consulting the legal advisers to the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments. This advance scrutiny process usually takes a period of at least two sitting weeks. The regulations will be laid before Parliament and published as soon as this process is complete.

    The Government also confirmed that it will be publishing a full response to the technical review, explanatory notes, guidance and other supporting documents alongside the regulations, and that all of these documents will be made publicly available on our website.

    The full response to the Parliamentary question External Link can be read on the Parliament website.
  • Publication of first Copyright notice on digital images, photographs and the internet

    As use of social media becomes ever more widespread, the IPO has published new guidance for people who use, upload and link to images and photos on the web - whether for business or personal use. You can find this information on Copyright notice 2014.

    Last year, IPO asked people to tell us what areas of copyright law they found confusing, so we could publish practical guidance in the form of a Copyright notice. Having reviewed the requests that have been received, the IPO has now published its first Copyright notice, covering use of images and photos on the internet.

    Copyright notices aim to provide clear and non-technical guidance that people can use with confidence. IPO would be interested in hearing your feedback on this one. Email us to tell us what you think or to ask for more information. You can also suggest topics for future Copyright notices via our online form.

February 2014

  • Draft secondary legislation to regulate collecting societies laid in Parliament Latest addition

    Today (6 February 2014) draft secondary legislation, to be known as The Copyright (Regulation of relevant licensing bodies) Regulations 2014, along with an Explanatory Memorandum and revised Impact Assessment have been laid in Parliament. These draft Regulations have been made using a power in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act External Link. They are intended to support a system of self regulation by collecting societies (the "relevant licensing bodies" in the regulations) by giving Government powers to close any gaps that may emerge in the self-regulatory framework. This should improve the efficiency of collective licensing and strengthen confidence in the operation of collecting societies, delivering benefits for members and users of collecting societies.

    The draft regulations have been updated to take account of feedback received from the technical review and further legal scrutiny. The main changes are:

    - The ability to require a licensing body to modify only parts of a code of practice rather than having to compile a completely new code (Regulation 2).

    - A new condition which gives the licensing body an opportunity to amend its code of practice within 49 days after being notified that it does not comply with the specified criteria. (Regulation 3).

    - The time available to a collecting society to submit a compliant code after a direction has been issued by the Secretary of State has been extended to 49 days from 28 days (Regulation 4).

    - Clarification of the total amount payable in default fines (Regulation 10).

    - The addition of new appeal right which allows an appeal to be made against the imposition of a financial penalty as well as the amount (Regulation 12).

    The draft Regulations will be subject to the 'affirmative' approval procedure. This means that they will only become law after they have been debated and approved by both Houses of Parliament. The exact timing of this process will depend on parliamentary workload, but we anticipate the Regulations will come into force on the April 2014 common commencement date.

    For further information please see the draft regulations External Link and consultation.

January 2014

  • Technical consultation on the draft secondary legislation for both the UK orphan works licensing scheme and the transposition of the EU Directive on certain permitted uses of orphan works (2012/28/EU)

    Orphan works are copyright works (such as books, photographs, films and music) for which one or more of the copyright owners cannot be found. If someone wants to copy a work to use it in a book, an exhibition, on a website or in a documentary, they need to obtain permission from the rights holders (creators, publishers, broadcasters etc). At present, if the work is an orphan then it cannot be reproduced lawfully.

    The Government's orphan works scheme aims to address the issue of reproducing works when rights holders cannot be found. The UK wide scheme provided under the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 External Link, allows for the commercial and non-commercial use of any type of orphan work, by any applicant, once they have undertaken a diligent search for missing rights holders and paid a licence fee.

    Alongside the UK scheme, the Government is implementing the complementary EU orphan works Directive External Link. This will allow publicly accessible archives to digitise certain works and to display them on their websites for access across the EU.

    This technical consultation is seeking views on the legal effectiveness, structure and effect of the draft secondary legislation only. The overall policy is outside the scope of this consultation.

    The closing date for comments is Friday, 28 February 2014.

    For further information, please see the consultation PDF document(875Kb). An interactive response form PDF document(66Kb) is also available.

December 2013

  • Publication of responses to consultation on draft secondary legislation to regulate collecting societies

    Today, 12 December 2013, the Government published its response PDF document(101Kb) to the technical consultation on the draft secondary legislation to be known as "The Copyright (Regulation of Relevant Licensing Bodies) Regulations 2014".

    These regulations are being made using a power in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act (2013). They are intended to support the system of self-regulation that has been put in place by the majority of UK collecting societies. They can be used to close any gaps in self-regulation that may emerge in the future. The Government consulted on the legal and practical effectiveness of the draft regulations.

    The Government received 18 responses from interested parties. The responses, with the exception of two confidential submissions, have been published and are listed in alphabetical order. Signatures, personal telephone numbers and email addresses have been redacted for information security purposes.

    As a result of the technical review process, the Government intends to amend the secondary legislation to take account of certain issues raised by stakeholders. These include:

    1) An increase in the amount of time available to collecting societies to submit a revised code of practice in Regulation 4 from 28 days to 49 days - an increase of three full weeks.

    2) Flexibility for the Secretary of State to issue a direction that requires only the non-compliant part(s) of a code to be corrected rather than requiring a collecting society to submit a completely new code of practice. This should help to put in place a revised code of practice much more quickly.

    These amendments are being scrutinised in a revised draft currently before the UK Parliament's Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments (JCSI).

    The Government intends to publish the final Regulations, Explanatory Memorandum and Impact Assessment when they are laid before Parliament in early 2014

November 2013

  • Technical consultation on draft secondary legislation for extended collective licensing (ECL) schemes

    ECL is a type of licensing that allows an authorised collecting society to extend an existing collective licence so that it can license on behalf of all rights holders in the sector, except those who opt out. While traditional collective licensing relies on rights holders opting in by giving the collecting society express permission to license their works, ECL assumes that rights holders want their works to be licensed, unless they opt out.

    ECL is one of the measures the Government is introducing to simplify the licensing system. Along with several other measures in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 External Link, it will help make copyright licensing more efficient and remove unnecessary barriers to the legitimate use of works, while preserving the interests of right holders.

    This technical consultation is on the draft secondary legislation, to be known as The Copyright (Extended Collective Licensing) Regulations. The Government is inviting respondents to submit substantive comments on the legal effectiveness, structure and effect of the regulations only. The policy is out of scope of this consultation.

    Please submit written comments by midday on 28 January 2014.

    For further information please see the consultation.

September 2013

  • IP Bill Impact Assessments

    As is usual practice following the completion of the passage of a Bill through one House in Parliament, the impact assessments for the Intellectual Property Bill have been revisited since the Government response was published. The only one which required amendment was that relating to criminal sanctions which has been revised PDF document(375Kb) in the light of new information.

  • Consultation on draft secondary legislation to regulate collecting societies

    Collecting societies license a range of copyright works. Efficient licensing benefits both their members and their licensees. The Government’s policy intention is to strengthen confidence in the operation of collecting societies in support of these benefits. As such, it has taken a power in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act External Link that requires collecting societies to self-regulate in the first instance. The power also allows the Government to make secondary legislation to remedy and, where warranted, penalise gaps in self-regulation.

    The draft secondary legislation, to be known as The Copyright (Regulation of relevant licensing bodies) Regulations 2014 is the subject of this consultation.

    Given the extensive formal consultation on the policy and discussions about it, including in the Codes Working Group, respondents are invited to submit substantive comments on the legal effectiveness of the regulations only. The policy is out of scope of this consultation.

    You are invited to submit written comments by midday on 7 October 2013.

    For further information please see the consultation.

July 2013

  • Intellectual Property (IP) Bill moves to House of Commons

    The IP Bill has left the House of Lords after three months of scrutiny. It now progresses to the next stage - First Reading in the House of Commons - after the Parliamentary summer recess.

    The Bill will implement reforms on the design intellectual property framework in response to the recommendations of the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth 2011.

    Throughout the first stage, the government listened to the views of stakeholders about the measures included in the Bill. The government has listened carefully to these concerns, and responded by amending some of the wording of the Bill on the scope and operation of the proposed criminal sanctions for the deliberate copying of a design. The changes mean that the offence will not capture a person or business who has reason to believe they were not infringing a design

    Further information is available on our dedicated IP Bill web page and in a press release External Link issued 30 July 2013.
  • Draft legislation to modernise copyright exceptions published for technical review

    The final set of draft legislation on copyright exceptions has now been published for review. This legislation updates the exceptions for people with disabilities PDF document(85Kb). We would welcome answers to the questions we have posed and any specific drafting suggestions.

    The IPO will also be holding an open meeting on Thursday 29 August 2013 to give an opportunity for discussions of this draft.

    You are invited to submit any written comments on this draft legislation as soon as you are able. The closing date for written comments on these exceptions is 11 September 2013.
  • Launch of copyright notices service

    Today, 30 July 2013, the IPO launched the copyright notices service that lets people ask the Government to clarify unclear copyright law.

    Businesses and consumers have told the Government that they are sometimes confused about how copyright works in practice. The Government wants to make it easier for these people to understand copyright law and be able to use copyright works with confidence.

    The new copyright notices service is asking people to tell the Government what aspects of copyright law are unclear, and the problems that this causes them. By using an online form, businesses and consumers can request guidance on particular topics. Taking account of the issues raised, the Government will publish clear and impartial guidance, in the form of a copyright notice.
  • A study of Patent thickets

    IPO has published commissioned research on the definition and impact of "patent thickets", a concept coined in the US to denote “a dense web of overlapping intellectual property rights that a company must hack its way through in order to commercialize new technology”.

    The Hargreaves review recommended:

    "... the Government should Investigate ways of limiting adverse consequences of patent thickets, including by working with international partners to establish a patent fee structure set by reference to innovation and growth goals .... The structure of patent renewal fees might be adjusted to encourage patentees to assess more carefully the value of maintaining lower value patents, so reducing the density of patent thickets".

    The aim of this research was to:
    - Understand whether thickets - defined by networks of overlapping claims - deter entry by new competitors, especially SMEs;
    - Understand what effects pending patents have as a barrier to entry and their relationship with patent thickets.

    For further information, please read the full report PDF document(1.31Mb) and a full summary of the report PDF document(24Kb).

June 2013

  • Draft legislation to modernise copyright exceptions published for technical review

    The second batch of drafts has now been published for review and includes the exceptions for data analysis for non-commercial research PDF document(70Kb), changes to the exceptions for education PDF document(83Kb), and also amendments to exceptions for research, libraries and archives PDF document(116Kb).

    The draft for the disability exception will be released in the coming weeks.

    You are invited to submit any written comments as soon as you are able. The closing date for written comments on these exceptions is 2 August 2013.

    The IPO will also be holding a series of open meetings in the week commencing 22 July 2013, to give an opportunity for discussion of the drafts.

  • Draft legislation to modernise copyright exceptions published for technical review

    In "Modernising Copyright" we made a commitment that we would give everyone an opportunity to comment on the detail of the draft legislation implementing changes to copyright exceptions.

    The first batch of drafts have now been published for review and include the exceptions for private copying PDF document(80Kb), parody PDF document(64Kb), quotation PDF document(72Kb) and public administration PDF document(66Kb). Drafts for the other exceptions will be released as soon as they are ready.

    You are invited to submit any written comments as soon as you are able. The closing date for written comments on the first four exceptions is 17 July 2013.

    The IPO will also be holding a series of open meetings in the week commencing 8 July 2013, to give an opportunity for discussion of the drafts.

  • The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 - Orphan Works and Extended Collective Licensing

    This fact sheet PDF document(461Kb) provides information relating to the orphan works licensing scheme and extended collective licensing (ECL) measures set out in the ERR Act. Although the ERR Act is now law, it will only have an impact once rules for an orphan works licensing scheme and ECL have been developed, fully consulted on and approved by Parliament. Consultation on detailed scheme rules is likely to begin later this year; neither scheme will begin operating before 2014.

    Various press and web articles have contained a number of misunderstandings and inaccuracies in relation to these measures. This fact sheet on orphan works and extended collective licensing PDF document(461Kb) provides details of how the orphan works licensing scheme and ECL will actually operate.

May 2013

  • New 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 External Link 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 on our dedicated IP Bill web page and in a press release External Link issued today, 10 May 2013

  • The 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 PDF document(94Kb).

April 2013

  • Government 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 PDF document(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.

    March 2013

    • Launch 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.

    February 2013

    • Proposals 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 PDF document(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.

    January 2013

    • Designs consultation - publication of responses

      Today, Wednesday 9 January 2013, the Government published a summary of responses PDF document(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.

    December 2012

    • 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 PDF document(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.

      November 2012

      • IPO Mediation Service

        On 12 November 2012 the IPO has published the response to a call for evidence PDF document(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.
      • From ideas to growth: Helping SMEs get value from their intellectual property

        Today, 7 November 2012, the IPO has published its conclusions PDF document(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.

      October 2012

      • Minimum standards for UK collecting societies

        The Government has today published the minimum standards PDF document(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.

      • Introducing 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.

      August 2012

      • Designs 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.

      July 2012

      • Digital 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 PDF document(1.28Mb) and the press notice.

      • Proposals 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) PDF document(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.

      • Publication 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 PDF document(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.

      • Designs Consultation

        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 Report

        The new IP Crime Report 2011/12 PDF document(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 PDF document(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.

      • Proposals on the role of the Intellectual Property Office

        On 12 July the IPO published its proposals for emphasising the role of the IPO PDF document(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.

      • Government Policy Statement: Consultation on modernising copyright

        Today, 2 July 2012, the Government published a policy statement on modernising copyright licensing PDF document(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.

      June 2012

      • Consultation on Copyright: Summary of responses published

        Today, Thursday 14 June 2012, the Government published a summary of responses PDF document(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.

      • IPO Mediation Service

        Today, 12 June, we are inviting stakeholders to respond to a six-week call for evidence PDF document(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.

      • Patent Opinions

        On 12 June 2012, Baroness Wilcox, the Minister for Intellectual Property, launched a Government consultation and accompanying impact assessment PDF document(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.

      May 2012

      • From ideas to growth: Helping SMEs get value from their intellectual property

        Following the "Ideas to Growth PDF document(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."

      April 2012

      • From ideas to growth: Helping SMEs get value from their intellectual property

        On 3 April, the IPO published a document entitled "From ideas to growth PDF document(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.

      March 2012

      • 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 PDF document(954Kb) and the press release.
      • Introducing a small claims track to the Patents County Court - Government Response

        On 26 March 2012, the Government has published the response PDF document(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.
      • Copyright Consultation closes

        The consultation on copyright closed on 21 March 2012. The Government will publish an analysis of responses within 3 months of this date.

      February 2012

      • Notes of Copyright Consultation Events published

        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.

      January 2012

      • Introducing 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 PDF document(189Kb) and draft impact assessment MS Word Document(283Kb).

      • Digital Copyright 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 MS Word Document(142Kb).

      December 2011

      • Designs assessment

        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.

      • Copyright consultation

        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.

      • IP 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.

      November 2011

      • Patents County Court

        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.

      • Patents 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 PDF document(1.35Mb).

      • Richard 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.

      • New 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.

      • Designers: 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.

      October 2011

      • New law helps businesses protect their IP Rights

        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.