Chancellor announces review of intellectual property regime

Well, well. A Treasury announcement reveals that Andrew Gowers, recently deposed Editor of the Financial Times, will lead an independent review into intellectual property rights in the UK. The terms of reference are:

The review will provide an analysis of the performance of the UK IP system, including:

  • the way in which Government administers the awarding of IP and their support to consumers and business;
  • how well businesses are able to negotiate the complexity and expense of the copyright and patent system, including copyright and patent licensing arrangements, litigation and enforcement; and
  • whether the current technical and legal IP infringement framework reflects the digital environment, and whether provisions for ‘fair use’ by citizens are reasonable.

    The Government has previously committed to examining whether the current term of copyright protection on sound recordings and performers’ rights is appropriate. This will also be conducted within the review.

  • The inquiry will run for twelve months. Its web site is here.