Justifying the law on unjustified threats

By Aminder Khatkar

The Law Commission has published a bill that would reform the law on unjustified threats with regard to IP rights. In particular, it would extend current legal exceptions which have been carved out for patents to trademarks and designs

UK law has long provided a statutory right of redress in relation to unjustified threats to sue for infringement of patents, trademarks and design rights. The law is intended to strike a balance between the conflicting interests of rights holders which need an effective and robust system to allow them to enforce their rights and legitimate traders which may be deterred from lawful activities by reckless and groundless threats of infringement proceedings. It is generally considered that this balance has not been achieved by the existing legislation, which is plagued by inconsistencies and uncertainty.

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Issue 72