United Kingdom IP Overview

The United Kingdom claims to be the earliest country implementing intellectual property (IP) protection systems. As early as 1624, the British Government promulgated the Statute of Monopolies, which is reputed to be the origin of modern patent laws. Following that, the first statute in the world on the licensing of book printing came into force in 1662, and The Statute of Anne, the first recognizable Copyright Act, was promulgated in 1710 "for the Encouragement of Learning". It embodied some principles which survive in modern copyright law. The adoption of the Patent Law Amendment Act and the establishment of the United Kingdom Patent Office (UKPO) in 1852 marked the birth of the modern IP system in the UK. The Trade Marks Registration Act of 1875 set up a Register of Marks, and the Designs Act 1839 provided for the registration of Industrial Designs for articles of manufacture.
In recent decades, UK IP law has been extensively revised to match European standards, and the main acts now in force are the Patents Act 1977, The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 and the Trade Marks Act 1994.In 2007 the UKPO was renamed as the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO). In UK, procedures of application, examination, approval and protection for registered IP rights, are quite simplified, open and clear.
In May 2011, Professor Ian Hargreaves published his Independent Review of IP & Growth with the approval of the Prime Minister of the UK. The Review came up with several recommendations concerning reducing barriers in the IP system and adjusting industry model to fit in the digital era even better. These recommendations included reforming the copyright licensing system and widening the exceptions to copyright infringement, establishing licensing and clearance procedures for "orphan works," and reassessing the design system, and improving access by small and medium size enterprises, SMEs, to the court system.
The Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC-formerly known as the Patents County Court) now has a small claims track which will particularly benefit SMEs, and which parallels international IP trends (especially in India and China).
In recent years there has been a substantial increase in the numbers of IP infringement cases brought before IPEC, and improvements in securing early resolution or judgment.
The British government provides strong enforcible legal protection for IP. In certain cases of copyright, trade mark or registered design protection, infringement is a criminal offence and those found guilty may be subject to imprisonment or fine, if summarily convicted. If a more serious matter needs full trial, the penalties are harsher than for summary conviction.
Most of the provisions of the new UK Intellectual Property Act (2014), which came into effect on 1st and implemented in 1, involve a variety of innovations, including modifications to the relevant provisions of the design and patents, which relate to the Registered Designs Act (1949), the Patent Act (1977) and the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (1988). We aim to further protect the intellectual property and innovation industries in the UK. The new bill was approved in May 2014.

Recommended IP Firms

  • Moore

    Add: Moore Beech Hill, Mosser, Cockermouth, Cumbria, CA13 0SS United Kingdom (UK)
    Telephone: +44 (0) 121 314 8018
    Fax: +44 (0) 121 314 8022
    Voip: 30077623@voipfone.co.uk
    E-Mail: enquiries@moorelegal.co.uk
    Web: www.moorelegal.co.uk


  • Agile IP LLP

    Head Office:
    Add: Agile IP LLP Airport House Purley Way Croydon, Surrey CR0 0XZ United Kingdom
    Tel: +44 (0)20 8915 1010
    Fax: +44 (0)20 8915 1049

    Central London Office:
    Add: Agile IP LLP 90 Acre London WC2E 9RZ United Kingdom
    Tel: +44 (0)20 7849 3150
    Fax: +44 (0)20 8915 1049
    Web: www.agile-ip.co.uk

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