Vince Cable, the UK Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, has revealed that the UK government will shortly announce details of how it intends to modernise the Intellectual Property (IP) regime.
Describing IP as a “fascinating subject area” in that there was a strong argument for imposing a temporary monopoly that protected innovation, he told a Westminster Media Forum seminar on ‘The UK’s creative economy – Creating the conditions for growth’ that “within the next few weeks, or even days” he hoped, along with ministerial colleagues, to announce the next steps, which would take into account the feedback received from industry on legislation currently going through parliament.
“It’s very much a question of striking a balance with choice on the one hand and intellectual property rights on the other, to market competition and protection of innovation,” he said. “We are listening, and will try to respond in a way that hopefully will be well received by the sector. Together with that, we will be rolling out measures which are more active enforcements and ensuring consumers are protected from counterfeiters and Intellectual Property is upheld.”
The government would also be announcing a series of measures relating to the Intellectual Property Office. “Our ambition is to make it the best in the world, which is insightful, is an effective operator and listens to different interests in the sector,” he stated, noting that the Intellectual Property regime would be discussed at the next meeting of the Creative Industries Council in January 2013. “We’ll get some feedback as to whether we’ve got the balance right.”
He also said that the government had reviewed existing communications legislation to address content and innovation issues, and had come to the conclusion, from talking to the industry, that a legislative overhaul was not needed, but that parts of the framework needed tweaking. The conclusions would appear in a White Paper to appear in the early part of 2013.