Parliamentary Activity and Upcoming events
MPs urge Government to get a grip on IP policy
29 October 2012 – The All-Party Intellectual Property Group has today released a report which urges the Government to get a grip on how intellectual property (IP) policy is made.
The report, The Role of Government in Promoting and Protecting Intellectual Property, says that while intellectual property is vital to the foundation of economic growth, too often it is overlooked by Government departments who do not grasp its importance.
Click here to download the full press release
Click here to download the report
The All-Party IP Group would like to invite you to the launch of their latest report, to be held at 4.30pm on Monday 29th October in Room W1 at the Houses of Parliament.
Hosted by John Whittingdale MP, Chair of the All Party IP Group, the launch will be an opportunity to discuss The Role of Government in Promoting and Protecting Intellectual Property, which examines the effectiveness of current Government structures and policies in delivering an environment where individuals and businesses are able to generate economic returns for their creations, innovations and investment. It will also provide an opportunity to discuss what measures the Government needs to put in place in order to maximise growth and innovation in the creative, design and branded goods sectors.
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ALL PARTY INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY GROUP ANNOUNCE ORAL EVIDENCE SESSIONS FOR INQUIRY
The All Party Intellectual Property Group are pleased to announce details for oral evidence sessions on The Role of Government in Protecting and Promoting Intellectual Property.
The sessions, which are open to the public, will take place on the following dates:
Wednesday 25th April, 3pm in Committee Room 17 at the House of Commons
Witnesses giving evidence include:
* Ben White, Head of Intellectual Property, British Library
* Peter Bradwell, Campaigner, Open Rights Group
* Saskia Walzel, Senior Policy Advocate, Consumer Focus
* Theo Bertram, UK Policy Manager, Google
Wednesday 9th May, 3pm in Committee Room 17 at the House of Commons
Witnesses giving evidence include:
Richard Mollet, Publishers Association
Andrew Yeates, Educational Recording Agency
Thomas Boué, Business Software Alliance?
Dids Macdonald, Anti-Counterfeiting in Design (ACID)
John Smith, Musicians Union
Monday 21st May, 4pm in Committee Room 20 at the House of Commons
Witnesses giving evidence include:
Jonathan Alty, Intellectual Property Office (IPO)
For more information please contact the Secretariat at Luther Pendragon on 0207 618 9100 or visit the website http://www.allpartyipgroup.org.uk/.
A full list of the members of the All-Party Intellectual Property Group can be found here.
ALL-PARTY INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY GROUP ANNOUNCE NEW INQUIRY
The All-Party Intellectual Property Group announced that it is to conduct an inquiry into The Role of Government in Protecting and promoting Intellectual Property.
The Group has decided to look at this important issue because responsibility for development and enforcement of IP policy sits across many Government departments and agencies. There have been numerous reviews into IP policy in the last ten years but the decision-making framework within which policy is developed and agreed has not been sufficiently examined.
The Group will seek to unpick the tangled web of cross-departmental responsibilities in this area by considering how policy has been developed, the effectiveness of the current approach, and whether the machinery of government can be improved for better policy formulation.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY APG MEMBERS DEBATE IP IN WESTMINSTER HALL
A number of members of the IP APG took part in a Westminster Hall debate on intellectual property (IP) on the 7th February secured by APG Vice-Chair Pete Wishart MP.
Pete Wishart opened proceedings with a robust criticism of the current direction of Government travel on IP. He noted the considerable contribution of the creative sector to growth in the UK, and argued that the creative sectors feels “under siege” from Government, which was itself approaching a position of being ‘anti-copyright’. He offered a very robust criticism of the role of the IPO, appealing on the Government to “get a grip” on the issues by exerting more effective political control over the IP agenda. He also called for an elected Minister within DCMS to have direct responsibility for IP, noting that current arrangements were at best ‘haphazard’.
Mark Field MP, patron of Animation UK, spoke about the range of world-class animation that Britain produced and the importance of protecting that content through a robust IP system. He also noted that he felt that the international agreements on IP and patents were likely to come under pressure from China.
Eric Joyce MP, formerly of the Digital Economy Act APPG and now of PICTFOR struck a considerably more reconciliatory tone on the IPO, saying there was a “genuine effort by good people to get to grips” with the complexities of the debate. He argued that the large-scale criminalization of those who download illegal content was not an appropriate policy response from Government, and engaged in an exchange with Kevin Brennan MP, who suggested that ‘large business interests’ should not be directing searchers to illegal content.
Jim Dowd MP spoke on the educational use extension under consideration through the Hargreaves proposals, characterising Option five as “ignoring the rights of content producers”, noting that this seems to be the option the Government is leaning toward. He also said that it was unclear as to where the desire to reorganize the existing arrangements on educational copyright was coming from, as there was no evidence from educational establishments arguing that there was a problem, suggesting that the IPO was simply making an argument it thought that BIS wanted to hear.
For Labour, Chi Onwurah MP conducted a survey of the debate and the discussions that had just taken place. She noted that the contribution of IP to growth “cannot be doubted”, though that was moderated by her suggestion that IP could also pose a barrier to growth as it was an extremely complex area. She called on the Government to “lead from the front” on IP, as well as asking for an update on the Digital Copyright Exchange and implementing the Digital Economy Act.
Business Minister Mark Prisk MP responded for the Government as Baroness Wilcox, being a Peer, was unable to. He suggested the debate was ‘timely’, stressing in response to criticism of the Government’s proposals that they were at consultation stage and thus open to input. Prisk said that argument in favour of the importance of IP to the economy were “absolutely right”, but set out a position that sought to balance ‘creator and consumer’. He noted that the Government was “closely considering” the issue of blocking, and that the Government should have something to say on that “imminently”. On orphan works, he argued that the Government needed to get the balance right between encouraging innovation and protecting. On enforcement, Prisk suggested that there had been a doubling of criminal cases brought before the courts for the most recent period for which figures were available.
You can read the full Hansard record of the debate here
MPs HEAR FROM TRADERS ON HOW TO PROTECT MARKETS FROM DANGEROUS FAKE GOODS
The All-Party Parliamentary Intellectual Property Group heard from market representatives at a Parliamentary event on the 13th December on how to stamp out counterfeit goods, and protect consumers and legitimate businesses in the process.
MPs heard how the Real Deal Campaign, a cross-sector, partnership initiative is bringing together local authorities, trading standards services, market operators and traders, industry groups and copyright and trademark owners, to tackle intellectual property theft and reclaim markets from fakes.
John Whittingdale MP, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Intellectual Property Group, said:
“The Real Deal Campaign has been instrumental in promoting fake-free markets and raising awareness of the damage counterfeits cause, from dodgy UGG boots to dangerous fake GHD hair straighteners. Often these are sold not just by harmless Del Boys, but to finance organised criminal gangs.
“It is really encouraging to see the enthusiasm of so many people, both policymakers and market representatives, who are committed to stamping out these counterfeit goods, especially in the run-up to Christmas. We would urge every local authority to sign up to the Real Deal Charter, and help keep the tradition of the great British market alive.”
Thus far, 189 markets are covered by the Charter, but many local authorities are yet to sign up. Those who have signed up have seen an increase in shoppers, as they return to a market they can trust.
For more information on the Real Deal, contact Patricia Lennon on 01943 816292.