Government accepts call for IP reform

1 min read

The government has announced plans to support economic growth by modernising UK intellectual property laws. Ministers say they have accepted the recommendations made in an independent review by Professor Ian Hargreaves, which estimate a potential benefit to the UK economy of up to £7.9billion.

Prof Hargreaves' review, Digital Opportunity: A Review of Intellectual Property and Growth, was instigated by David Cameron last November and urged the government to overhaul the current IP system in the UK to ensure that new forms of digital business could thrive without falling foul of copyright law. It suggested such measures as a digital copyright exchange; certain copyright exceptions; the establishment of licensing and clearance procedures for orphan works; and that evidence should drive future policy. Leading organisations from the Silicon Roundabout community and the broader digital economy have responded enthusiastically to the government's response and believe it represents a milestone for the UK digital economy. "The government's decision recognises - as many digital businesses and entrepreneurs have known for a long time - that the nation's intellectual property laws, and in particular copyright law, must adapt to change," said Coalition for a Digital Economy chairman, Jeff Lynn. "Those of us who believe that the future of Britain's economy depends largely on the digital innovations occurring among the Silicon Roundabout community and throughout the country are very happy with the government's response to Hargreaves' recommendations," he continued. "We applaud strongly the commitment to making these pivotally important changes a reality, and we look forward to working with the government on the detail of each of the forthcoming proposals and consultations." Business Secretary, Vince Cable, added: "The government is focused on boosting growth and the Hargreaves review highlighted the potential to grow the UK economy. By creating a more open intellectual property system it will allow innovative businesses to develop new products and services which will be able to compete fairly in the UK's thriving markets for consumer equipment." Prof Hargreave's full review can be downloaded below.