Intellectual property law

Expansion of the IPO Patent Opinions Service

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is reviewing its Patent Opinions Service which allows individuals or companies to request an opinion on the validity or infringement of a patent. The consultation outlines proposals to expand the service to additional questions of patent validity, to validity and infringement of Statutory Protection Certificates (SPCs) and to provide the IPO with a power to begin revocation of a patent following issue of an opinion which concludes that a patent is invalid.

Call for evidence: The Intellectual Property Office mediation service

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) issued a call for evidence to understand the reasons behind the mediation service being used infrequently and what more can be done to assist SMEs in resolving disputes before they reach the court system.

Consultation on proposals to change the UK's copyright system

Copyright law governs what users can do with copyright works. Technology has changed out of all recognition since the copyright rules were last amended. The government has developed proposals intended to make copyright rules more flexible, and better suited to today's needs.

The consultation covers the rules on copying for educational uses, for people with disabilities, for quotation and reporting current events, for preservation by libraries and archives, for research and private study, for text mining for research, for parody, and for public administration. It proposes protecting all those users' rights from being removed by contracts. It also proposes a solution to the problem of orphan works, and proposes regulation of copyright collecting societies.

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.

The IPO invited 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.