Wednesday 3 August 2011

Hargreaves Response

Vince Cable was at the British Library this morning to announce the government's response to the Hargreaves review. Naturally, the media is focusing on those elements which relate to file copying, sharing and Internet blocking. See the BBC here, the Next Web  here and the Guardian here .  It is indeed very welcome to see that there will be proposals for a substantial opening up of the UK copyright exemptions - so maybe there will be some fair use arriving after all.

However, down in the bowels of the Hargreaves report there was a discussion about SME access to IP advice. What does the government intend to do? Well you will be delighted to learn that later this year, the IPO will set out its plans to improve accessability of the IP system to smaller companies, including access to lower cost providers of integrated IP legal and commercial advice.

Does that mean I can advertise on the idea websites for free if I agree to charge less than the market leaders?  Does it mean that they will reinvent the recently abolished Business Link advisers? Since "integrated IP legal and commercial advice" is not a known sector, perhaps we will find the IPO looking more kindly at self-appointed patent strategists. In any event, its a good phrase to put on your letterhead and to include on your website. Get marketing!

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