Artist's Resale Right (ARR)
The Artist’s Resale Right (introduced in the UK in 2006) entitles artists to a royalty when their work is resold by an art market professional.
ARR royalties provide vital and much needed income for UK artists, who earn an average of £5,000 a year, with 81 per cent using their ARR for living expenses and art materials.
More countries are beginning to implement their version of the law, allowing for UK artists to receive royalties when their works sell abroad too. However we need the UK to encourage other nations to adopt ARR too through trade agreements, so that UK artists do not suffer when their works sell in countries like the USA and China – two big art markets that have not yet implemented an ARR law.
Parasitic Packaging aka lookalikes; copycats
Misleadingly similar “parasitic” packaging (aka copycats or look-alikes) adopts distinctive features of familiar branded products. Many such copies are supermarket products but this is not exclusively the case -another manufacturer may well produce a copy.
It diverts sales to the copy by duping shoppers into believing that a product has the same qualities, reputation and/or origin as the brand, with shoppers often misled into buying a product they didn’t intend to buy.
Brand owners find it difficult to challenge copiers themselves and a proportionate solution is needed to minimise consumer confusion whilst safeguarding choice and competition including:
Clear, distinct packaging that differentiates one product from another, does not mislead or deceive consumers and does not trade on another’s reputation.
Effective legislation and enforcement in the UK to prevent competitors trading on the reputation of another, and an effective means of resolving disputes.
The introduction of legislative injunctive powers for businesses against copycat packaging.
In 2014 the Government made it a criminal offence to intentionally copy a registered design in the course of a business and to knowingly import and place on the market a design which the infringer knows, or has reason to believe, is a copy. This was a very welcome change and gave design rights the same status as those for trademarks and copyright which had long been an anomaly.
Unfortunately, the criminal offence only relates to registered designs and not unregistered design rights. The vast majority of designers do not register their rights due to cost, with most being either micro or small businesses.
Designers would like to see the copying of unregistered design rights to be made a criminal offence to provide a strong and much needed deterrent against design infringement.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Digital technologies, including AI, are of central importance to IP rich industries, helping create content, products and services to deliver them to a diverse range of customers and consumers.
There is increasing use of AI technology within the such industries. This is perhaps unsurprising given many of these sectors have been transformed into fully functioning digital businesses, making the concept of analogue versus digital a historical relic.
Too often in the past, when new technologies have emerged, the public, regulatory and political discourse has been to characterise the IP framework as somehow inhibiting the development of that technology. History has shown that not to be the case, and that the current framework is flexible and responsive enough to adapt to, and embrace, new situations.
Rights of Representation
For IP rightsholders in the UK, having access to professional legal expertise is vital for both registering and maintaining rights and also their protection.
The UK has developed a highly specialised IP legal sector which is enormously valuable to rightsholders. As a principle, rightsholders would like to see the widest freedom to choose their legal representative but in the short term, that ambition needs to be balanced with measures that support a strong UK IP legal community.
We support the IPO's recent proposal to amend the current address for service rules for applications to the UK IPO by removing reference to the EEA, in order to level the playing field regarding rights of representation.