London
04 May 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon
UK IP Unjustified Threats Bill receives royal assent
The UK’s Intellectual Property (Unjustified Threats) Bill, which aims to make it easier to resolve intellectual property disputes, has received royal assent.

The bill still requires secondary legislation before it can become law, but is expected to be passed later this year.

Current law in the UK places restrictions on what can be said out of court in order to settle disputes, with the possibility of an IP owner facing damages for “unjustified threats”.

Professional advisers involved in the case, acting on behalf of a client, could also be liable.

The new law will clarify what cannot be said in pre-action correspondence and protect professional advisers from legal action.

Specifically, the bill will introduce consistency in what can be said between the threats provision for patents, trademarks and designs, as well as distinguish legitimate threats from those used to damage a commercial rival.

The bill will also alter the law so that the protection against unjustified threats can apply to European patents that come under the jurisdiction of the highly-anticipated Unified Patent Court.

The Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) was involved with the legislation, submitting written consultation responses and evidence to the House of Lords.

Vicki Salmon, chair of CIPA’s litigation committee, said: “I am pleased that the government has succeeded in passing this bill.”

“I would also like to acknowledge the hard work done by the Law Commission in preparing the bill and the scrutiny which the bill received in the House of Lords.”

She added: “We also welcome the exemption now given to IP legal advisers when acting on their client’s instructions.”

“The previous regime militated against seeking pre-action settlement of IP disputes, as the recipient could use the threat of suing the lawyer for an unjustified threat as a means of separating the IP right holder from his chosen legal adviser.”

More Industry news
The latest news from IPPro The Internet
Join Our Newsletter

Sign up today and never
miss the latest news or an issue again

Subscribe now
Copycats plague publishers
22 May 2017 | Barcelona | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Copycat publications remain an extremely damaging problem, News Corp’s Jeffrey Parnass said at the 2017 INTA Annual Meeting in Barcelona
Tinder opposes Shinder’s trademark application
17 May 2017 | London | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Tinder has objected to a trademark filing from one-man dating platform Shinder
China could establish appellate IP court
15 May 2017 | Chengdu | Reporter: Barney Dixon
The court would be modelled on the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and cover mainly technology-related issues
Bird & Bird nests with Incopro
10 May 2017 | London | Reporter: Barney Dixon
The law firm will use the Incopro’s Talisman technology as part of its solutions suite
UK IP Unjustified Threats Bill receives royal assent
04 May 2017 | London | Reporter: Barney Dixon
The bill will provide protection for legal advisors and IP owners who face damages for “unjustified threats”
Pre-installed software for piracy makes IPTV players illegal
26 April 2017 | Luxembourg | Reporter: Barney Dixon
The CJEU has ruled that any media player marketed and sold with pre-installed software allowing access to pirated content infringes the copyright owner’s right of distribution to the public
World IP Day: Innovation improves lives
26 April 2017 | Geneva | Reporter: Barney Dixon
WIPO director general Francis Gurry has praised innovation for improving people's lives