Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Intellectual property - the Hargreaves Review reports

Intellectual property is of enormous economic importance.   A review of Intellectual Property and Growth has been conducted by Professor Ian Hargreaves of Cardiff University and the review report (Digital Opportunity: A review of Intellectual Property and Growth) has been published.  The government's Intellectual Property Office (IPO) issued a press statement indicating that changes to intellectual property law could add some £7.9 billion to the U.K. economy.  The press statement contains a summary of the recommendations made by the review.

Intellectual property rights are those rights granted by law to creators and owners of works that are the result of human intellectual creativity.  The main intellectual property rights are: copyright, patents, trade marks, design rights, protection from passing off, and the protection of confidential information.  One of the major difficulties with the law in this field is that the law has a tendency to lag considerably behind new technological innovations.  The law has considerable international dimensions - (e.g. how are intellectual property rights given protection internationally) - and European Union law has much to say on the subject.  See World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO).

Readers may find the website of the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law of interest and the Queen Mary Intellectual Property Research Institute. See also the reaction to the report on Legal Week and the Solicitor's Journal - "Review urges government to take action"

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