UK should tackle IP reforms at EU, not local level

The recommendations contained within a review of intellectual property law for the UK government will prove difficult to implement because many of the relevant regulations are imposed at an EU, not local, level, according to legal experts.

The Hargreaves report called for, among other things, the creation of a Digital Copyright Exchange, a digital marketplace that content owners would jointly use to sell their intellectual property to third parties. 
UK authorities would be better tasked pursuing change at a European Union or international level, lawyers said.

The review provides a welcome signal that the Government is keen to address the situation. However, the implementation of many of its proposed solutions may prove extremely challenging given our position,” said Simon Mounteney, partner at UK specialist IP legal firm Marks & Clerk: “Britain’s IP laws are so dependent on myriad international and European treaties that unilateral reform of our copyright and patent systems is impossible to achieve. Real reform will need to be pursued at a European or international level.”

Emily Devlin, intellectual property lawyer at law firm Osborne Clarke, said: “The Hargreaves Review is as broad in scope as it is pragmatic in its approach, so it’s no surprise that it ranges from bland exhortations such as ‘the UK should resolutely pursue its international interests in IP’ to more radical proposals such as a Digital Copyright Exchange.”