On 29 October 2012, the UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Intellectual Property Group published a report examining the Government’s role in promoting and protecting intellectual property (IP).  According to the report, which is based on the written submissions of almost 60 interested bodies, Government departments often fail to understand the importance of IP to the growth of UK’s economy. The report also criticizes the UK’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) for having lost the confidence of a large number of its main stakeholders in its IP policy-making and recommends that greater ministerial leadership will be exercised over the IPO’s activities.  While the report welcomes the IPO’s increased investment in research, the Office is critiqued for failing to view IP as a property right and promoting the creation and development of new IP.

The report sets out a number of recommendations for the Government, among them:

  • The new IP Minister, Lord Marland, should take a leading role in supporting IP;
  • The IPO’s oversight of copyright policy should be moved to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport;
  • Ministers in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) should exercise greater oversight of the IPO; and
  • Ministers at the BIS should ensure that other Government departments consult them when developing policies that affect IP.