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UK Parliament Asks For Public Comment On Six IP Policy Questions

19 Mar

It appears that the UK Parliament is asking for thoughts from the public on six key policy questions around intellectual property. You can be assured that the large lobbying organizations will make their voices heard, but it would be great if others in the UK, who have a more modern and nuanced view of what’s happening around intellectual property issues, would make their voices heard as well:

1) What should the objective of IP policy be? 

2) How well co-ordinated is the development of IP policy across government? Is IP policy functioning effectively on a cross-departmental basis? What changes to the machinery of government do you believe would deliver better IP policy outcomes?

3) There have been numerous attempts to update the IP framework in the light of changes brought about by the digital environment. How successful have these been and what lessons can be learnt from these for policy developments?

4) How effective is the Intellectual Property Office and what should its priorities be?

5) UK IP policy sits within European and supranational agreements. How should the UK government co-ordinate its policy at an international level and what should it do to promote IP abroad to encourage economic growth? Do you have examples of good and poor practice in this area?

6) Protecting, and enforcement of, the IP framework often sits in very different departments to those that develop IP policy and those that have responsibility for the industries most affected. What impact does this have and how can it be improved?

If you do decide to respond, obviously take time to carefully detail your position and back it up with facts and analysis, rather than any sort of emotional response. The details of how to respond to the request can be found in the official announcement (pdf) of this inquiry. It’s worth noting that the group organizing this does appear to come at these questions from an already biased position — in that the person collecting these responses works for “the Alliance Against IP Theft.” So, you’re already dealing with someone who falsely defines infringement as theft. That’s all the more reason to be careful, thorough and detailed in any response.