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Changes to Intellectual Property Legislation Give SMEs More Power

Changes to the laws governing intellectual property rights are going to give small businesses more power to fight for their brands, creations and inventions than ever before.

Current legislation allows businesses to be sued if they make unfounded allegations that another business has stolen, copied or closely mimicked their intellectual property.

New changes would limit the circumstances in which a groundless threats action could be brought. The reforms would enable small businesses to actively protect their intellectual property rights against large companies without the risk of being sued and the consequent financial ruin.

The Law Society’s Intellectual Property Law Committee (IPLC) has been working for the past nine years to persuade decision-makers that certain parts of the UK’s Intellectual Property legislation are not working as they should.

The Law Commission has made recommendations that seek to redress the balance between the holders of IP rights and the rights of other businesses not to be unfairly threatened.

The UK Government has now announced that it intends to introduce new legislation that adopts most of the Commission’s recommendations.

In its paper, the Government said that rights-holders that send infringement notices to businesses should be not be able to be pursued by those businesses for making groundless threats. It said it would list "some specific and non-limiting examples of such communications" in its proposed new legislation.

If you believe that you are involved or about to be involved in an intellectual property dispute our expert Intellectual Property Lawyers at Slater and Gordon can help. Call us on freephone 0800 916 9052 or contact us online and we will call you.

Slater and Gordon Lawyers have 1,450 staff and offices in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Halifax, Merseyside, Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Wakefield, Cambridge and meeting rooms in Bramhall, Cheshire and in Hull, Yorkshire.

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