Time for IP reforms to be implemented

Intellectual Property (IP) is one of those areas which the legal system has, to an extent, contrived to ignore; some of the legislation which is applied can be traced back more than 300 years. The result is a bit of a mess, particularly if you're an IP developer.

Last year, the Government commissioned a report from Professor Ian Hargreaves, who concluded the current IP system should be overhauled. Right on message, you might think. Yet a group of interested parties says not a lot is happening. Looking to move things along, the group has written an open letter to the Government urging that Prof Hargreaves' recommendations are put into action.

Some of the recommendations, including a single European patent, won't happen overnight, but there are other measures which the group believes can be actioned more promptly.

Prof Hargreaves said in his report that small and medium enterprises - highlighted by the Government as the future for the UK's economy - will be the main beneficiaries of the recommendations. If the Government does believe small companies and IP are important to the future of the UK's economy, it should get on with implementing the report's recommendations.

Paul Fanning

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