Patents, Trade Marks and Design Rights: Groundless Threats, a Consultation Paper

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The Stationery Office, Apr 17, 2013 - Law - 174 pages
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Infringement litigation can be disruptive and expensive. The mere threat that a product infringes patent, trade mark or design rights may cause significant commercial damage to a business. But the law provides protection to businesses if that threat is groundless. The groundless threat provisions were introduced in the nineteenth century to resolve disputes about steam engines. The Commission believes that they need to be adapted to the new global battles over information technology and is consulting on how they can be brought up to date. The Commission is consulting on two approaches to reform. The first is to build on the reforms made to patent law in 2004 and to extend these to the other rights. The Commission also proposes that legal advisers should be protected from liability for groundless threats. The second approach is to treat groundless threats as a form of unfair competition and to introduce a new and broader cause of action based on the Paris Convention.
  

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Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
common elements
33
patents the 2004 reforms
47
The common law torts and other remedies
55
European intellectual property rights
66
Lessons from other jurisdictions
78
Problems with the
91
an evolutionary approach
111
a wider approach?
131
Assessing the impact of reform
143
List of proposals and questions
149
THE THREATS PROVISIONS
155
Copyright

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