Following recommendations in the recent Gowers Report commissioned by the Chancellor, the Patent Office will now become known as the UK Intellectual Property Office to reflect the breadth of functions the office has and to dispel confusion. Ron Marchant, Chief Executive of the Patent Office said, “Our new name is also in line with those of many similar agencies abroad, making it easier for people wherever they are, to identify intellectual property offices. The findings of the Gowers Review and our own programme, “A Patent office for the 21st Century”, come together very well to meet the need for us to be and be seen to be an organization with a clear set of responsibilities. These are:

Raising awareness and understanding of intellectual property rights, acting to improve the way rights are enforced and developing the framework of intellectual property laws and agreements to fit the needs of modern UK businesses competing with those abroad.”

Dids Macdonald, commenting on the new name, said, “I welcome the change, at least it clarifies what ACID has been championing for many years that intellectual property encompasses all IP rights including copyright, trade marks and design right and the Patent Office is not the exclusive domain of patents. However, the fact still remains that the Gowers report still focused mainly on patents and, at a meeting with Dr Vince Cable MP, Shadow Chancellor for the Liberal Democrats, he made a commitment to pursue a platform for ACID at the All Party IP Group to ensure that more stakeholders within Government are aware of a) the legitimacy of design right as a valid IP right and b) the lobbying concerns of design right holders.

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