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Intellectual property: Changes to the law from 1 October 2014
The Intellectual Property Act 2014 comes into force from 1 October, making changes to patents and design law.
The most controversial change is the introduction of criminal sanctions for intentionally copying registered designs. Also the sanctions are not limited to those doing the copying but extend to anyone offering, marketing, importing, exporting, using
or stocking the design if that person has reason to believe the design has been registered and intentionally copied. If a person including directors or senior managers of a company is found guilty of copying a design, despite knowing or having
reason to believe it is registered then a prison sentence of up to ten years and/or a substantial fine is possible.
Another significant shift in the law is that unless it has been agreed otherwise the ownership of UK unregistered designs will belong to the designer rather that the party that has commissioned the design.
For more information, see Is the Intellectual Property Act 2014 unambitious but well-intentioned?.
Copyright: New parody exception introduced
To bring the UK into line with EU copyright law the UK has now introduced a new parody exception into copyright law. The use of this exception is subject to being able to demonstrate that it constitutes fair dealing. So in practice the scope
of this exception will be severely limited. Certainly any use for commercial purposes e.g. advertising is unlikely to be permitted. For more information, see Practice Note: Copyright works—permitted acts and defences.
Sentencing guideline on fraud, bribery and money laundering
The sentencing guidelines on fraud, bribery and money laundering offences came into effect on the 1st October
If you are concerned about compliance with bribery laws in your organisation, see our risk management guide for guidance: In-house lawyers: Risk management: bribery and corruption.
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