Protection for IP Advisers
Lawyers will no longer be at risk of being sued personally for making threats when pursuing breaches of intellectual property rights under the Intellectual Property (Unjustified Threats) Bill announced in the Queen’s speech. The measure adopts Law Commission recommendations to reform the law on infringement proceedings for patents, design rights and trademarks.
The commission published a draft bill last October following a lengthy campaign by the Law Society’s intellectual property law committee.
The government said the bill will ‘exempt professional legal advisers from liability for making threats, if they are acting on instructions from a client and in their professional capacity, so that they can help settle disputes.’
Current law provides a statutory right of redress against ‘unjustified threats’, even by professional advisers, which the Law Commission warned could deprive clients of expert assistance at a time they need it most.
The bill also aims to make it easier for businesses to settle IP disputes and to avoid litigation.
(Courtesy: The Law Society Gazette)