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Chancellor Announces IP Review

The Chancellor announced that Andrew Gowers, former Editor of the Financial Times, would lead an independent review into intellectual property rights in the UK.

Andrew Gowers said, "I believe that Intellectual Property is at the heart of Britain's success in the knowledge economy. This review will ensure that we maintain a world-class environment for creativity, design and innovation."

Terms of Reference

Objectives

The Labour Party manifesto included a commitment to "modernise copyright and other forms of intellectual property so that they are appropriate for the digital age".

The UK's IP regime is a critical component of our present and future success in the global knowledge economy. It must provide the optimal incentives for private industry and individuals to innovate and invest to create value, while preventing excessive inefficiencies and monopoly costs which can reduce competition and impede incremental innovation.

The regime is particularly important as our economic competitiveness is increasingly driven by knowledge-based industries, especially in manufacturing, science-based sectors and the creative industries.

Whilst the Government believes the present UK system strikes broadly the right balance between consumers and rights-holders, the review will examine whether improvements could be made and, as appropriate, make targeted and practical policy recommendations.

Scope

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.

Process

The review will be commissioned by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his Pre Budget Report and will run for 12 months, reporting to the Chancellor, the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

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