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[FYI] UK: Possible Changes to the Criminal Provisions in IP Law


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Consultation Paper on Possible Changes to the Criminal Provisions in 
Intellectual Property Law  

1.The above consultation paper explores a number of possible 
legislative changes to improve enforcement against intellectual 
property crime. Legislation in this area is in addition to a number 
of other initiatives, both national and international, such as the 
new Counterfeiting and Piracy Enforcement Forum bringing together 
Government, industry, public sector enforcers, consumers, retailers 
and Internet service providers and the expected follow-up to the EC 
Green Paper on counterfeiting and piracy in the single market, and 
including efforts to improve consumer understanding of the 
implications for them if they buy fake goods. Legislative changes 
suggested would in general increase comparability and compatibility 
between copyright and related offences on the one hand and trade mark 
offences on the other hand. The overall effect would be a 
rationalisation given the considerable overlap between these offences 
and would remove unnecessary bars to effective enforcement, in many 
cases easing the burden of enforcement work.  

2.The following areas are explored in the consultation paper:  

appropriate penalty levels for copyright and related offences and 
whether it is reasonable to achieve equalisation with those for trade 
mark offences at a point somewhat below current trade mark ones;  

whether there is any need for better powers of search and seizure, 
particularly to allow effective police investigation of copyright and 
related offences;  

whether provisions on forfeiture of infringing material for copyright 
and related offences should match the trade mark provision allowing 
forfeiture to be sought even where there has been no prosecution.  

3.Copies of the consultation paper and the associated regulatory 
impact assessment are available in pdf format and can viewed and 
downloaded by clicking here.  

4.Comments on all the above matters, which are explained more fully 
in the consultation paper, should be sent by Monday 3 April 2000 at 
the latest to:  

                       Teresa Arnesen
                       Copyright Directorate
                       The Patent Office
                       Harmsworth House
                       13-15 Bouverie Street
                       EC4Y 8DP

                       E-mail: copyright@patent.gov.uk
                       Fax: 0207 596 6526/6527
                       Tel: 0207 596 6513

5.Please note, if you wish any responses to remain confidential, this 
should be clearly stated in your reply. Otherwise, any responses 
received may be made available to the public under the code of access 
to Government information or future freedom of information 

 Last updated 24 February 2000

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For details, see