The Intellectual Property (Unjustified Threats) Bill has been introduced into Parliament today. We published a draft of the Bill in October 2015. It implements our recommendations for reforming the threats provisions for patents, trade marks and designs.
If implemented, the Bill would make it easier for innovative businesses to settle intellectual property disputes and avoid expensive and disruptive litigation. It would protect businesses and individuals against the misuse of unfounded threats to sue for infringement in order intimidate or gain an unfair commercial advantage. The Bill will also ensure that the protection can apply to Unitary Patents when these new rights are introduced.
The Bill will follow the special procedure for uncontroversial Law Commission Bills.
The introduction of the Intellectual Property (Unjustified Threats) Bill was announced in the Queen’s Speech of 18 May 2016. The Speech also announced the Government’s intention to:
- bring forward proposals to respond to the recommendations we made in our report Making land work: easements, covenants and profits á prendre (2011), and
- re-introduce the Policing and Crime Bill. Part 6 of the Bill contains recommendations we made in our recent report, Firearms Law – Reforms to Addressing Pressing Problems.