As noted in an earlier IPcopy post the Intellectual Property Bill has left the Ping Pong stage and is now waiting for Royal Assent. Amendments introduced during the Commons stage and accepted by the Lords during ping pong included a clarified qualification criteria within Clause 3 (Qualification criteria for Unregistered design right) and tweaks to Clause 13 (criminal office for copying a registered design) following lobbying from various groups including CIPA and the IP Federation.
Some of the changes to be introduced via the IP Bill will require secondary legislation and an official consultation on, for example, the changes required to bring the Patents Act into line with the unitary patent package is expected to kick off late May/early June (see IPconnect, page).
Last week however CIPA’s Policy Consultant, Susan Pickin, emailed some CIPA members asking for comments by 9th May 2014 on the Designs Opinions Service and the expanded Patents Opinions Service as covered by the IP Bill. The email stated:
With regard to the new Designs Opinions Service, for instance, recited in Clause 11 of the IP Bill, what concerns should CIPA draw to the attention of the IPO and to Government? One would expect the Opinions Service to be similar to the existing Opinions services but how should the procedure be designed? What would be a reasonable official IPO fee? Is there a right of reply? How can we encourage the Service to be of a high quality? We can also consider commenting on the expanded Patents Opinions Service (Clause 16 of the IP Bill) and on the implementation of patent revocation following an adverse validity opinion.
CIPA’s aim to is submit ideas to help shape the roll out of the IP Bill. The IPO’s April IPconnect publication notes that some aspects of the Bill are expected to come into force from October 2014.
If you’ve got views on the above subject or on any other aspects of design protection (e.g. consideration of criminal versus civil sanctions) then seek out your copy (or your firm’s copy) of Susan’s email and make yourself heard.
Mark Richardson 28 April 2014