Official: the IP regime isn’t working so let’s get on and fix it
01 Nov, 2012
The Federation Against Software Theft (FAST) has welcomed the recent All Party IP Group report on how IP policy is created and has called on Government to get on and fix it.
Conservative MP John Whittingdale, who is Chair of the All-Party IP Group, launched the report – The Role of Government in Promoting and Protecting Intellectual Property.
In it he states: “The current system of creating intellectual property policy just isn’t working. IP needs a champion within Government, who will recognise its significance and who will have the influence to co-ordinate policy across different departments. From trademarks to patents, design rights and copyright, UK companies depend on their IP rights to succeed and thrive. In this difficult economic climate it’s especially important that Government backs British businesses on IP. We hope that Government will take note of our proposals.”
Julian Heathcote Hobbins (pictured), General Counsel, FAST, stated: “We have consistently said that the future of British economic success resides in having a strong intellectual property regime, one that supports innovation and yet does not stifle it. At the beginning of the Coalition we were assured that IPR would take more of a centre stage as the new Government recognised its importance in the development of the creative industries here in the UK,”
“But are we seeing the attention drift? This all-party report has made a series of recommendations we can only support and applaud. Government now needs to not only listen to its recommendations but also actively implement them and focus on IP for growth,” he added.
The report makes six key recommendations:
- The IP Minister should take on the role of being a champion of IP, supported by a small team in IPO or within BIS
- The IPO should revert to seeing IP as a property right
- The Government should be as concerned to promote the creation of new IP and how existing IP is assessed
- Ministers in BIS and their senior officials need to have greater oversight of the IPO
- The IPO’s oversight of copyright policy should be moved to DCMS
- Senior officials and Ministers at BIS should take a greater role in ensuring other Government departments consult them when developing policies affecting IP.