Date set for IP bill’s second Commons reading


The UK government has set a date for a second reading of its Intellectual Property Bill in the House of Commons, marking the first time it will be debated in the lower chamber of parliament.

According to a statement on the UK parliament’s website, the reading will take place on December 9.

The bill, which stems from recommendations outlined in the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth, an independent review of the UK’s IP strategy, was approved by the House of Lords, the upper chamber of the UK parliament, in July.

It was first presented to the House of Commons in August, although a first reading in that chamber is usually seen as a formality and takes place without debate.

The second reading, however, provides a first chance for members to debate its general purpose.

Provisions outlined in the bill include providing the power to implement the Unified Patent Court, if it is created, and introducing criminal sanctions for copying registered designs.

The design recommendations could see alleged copiers face a 10-year-prison sentence, unless they can prove that they “reasonably believed” they had not infringed an existing design.

However, the design provision has faced criticism by industry professionals, including the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys, which is worried about a potentially damaging effect on designers.

In October, WIPR reported that government minister David Willetts will be leading the bill through the House of Commons.

According to his government profile, Willetts, a minister for universities and science, is responsible for innovation.

The bill must pass three readings in the House of Commons before becoming law.

Any individual clauses and amendments will be made at the committee stage, which follows the second reading.

IP Bill, UK parliament, CIPA, House of Commons, Hargreaves Review