Thursday, December 07, 2006

Gowers Review on Intellectual Property [UK]

The Gowers Review of intellectual property law in the United Kingdom has now been published. You can read it here. It's 146 pages long and comes with 54 recommendations.

* Confirming the heavy leak of recent weeks, there is no proposal to extend the term of copyright protection for sound recordings from its existing term of 50 years

* Private copying should be permitted

* Directive 2001/29 on copyright in the information society should be amended to allow for an exception for creative, transformative or derivative works, within the parameters of the Berne Three Step Test

* Introduction of a defence of parody or pastiche by 2008 [IPKat comment: long overdue! Spain and some other countries have long taken a robust view of such works. Is their sense of humour better than ours?].

* Provision should be made for orphan works, i.e. those whose authors and/or copyright owners have become untraceable

* Section 60(5) of the Patents Act 1977 should be amended to as to clarify the research exception in order to facilitate experimentation, innovation and education.

* Support for the single Community patent

* A pilot scheme along the lines of Beth Novek's Community patent scheme for cooperative examination of patent applications

Trade marks

* Fast-track trade marks for small businesses.


A strategic policy advisory board should be formed, to sit beside the Patent Office and report to the Department of Trade and Industry. This is supposed to help the Patent Office keep up with the digital economy and help free the patent system from red tape.

The name of the Patent Office should be changed to the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office.

* There should be stronger enforcement provisions to protect IP owners against infringers.

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