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House of Commons approves IP bill

Changes to UK patent, copyright and design law look likely to come into effect, after the IP bill was passed in the House of Commons

David Willetts

The third reading of the bill took place on March 12. On April 2 it will now return to the House of Lords, which is likely to endorse the changes made. Once that stage is completed, the bill can receive royal assent and become law.

The most controversial aspect of the bill is the introduction of criminal penalties for infringing registered designs.

MPs approved this reform, but limited it by agreeing to insert the word “intentionally” in several places.

They also rejected a proposal to extend the criminal penalties to unregistered design rights.

The bill also provides the necessary foundations for the UK to sign the Unified Patent Court Agreement.

Closing the short and good-natured debate in the House of Commons, Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts (pictured) said: “I am not sure that I would describe the Bill as thin. I would certainly call it a slim but well-proportioned and effective Bill.”

The full text of the bill is available online.

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