Isle of Man: Department Of Economic Development Brings Forward New Intellectual Property Legislation To Tynwald
Last Updated: 4 March 2013

The Department of Economic Development is bringing forward the first item in an ambitious programme of intellectual property legislation to Tynwald in February. 'Intellectual property' is the term used to describe the rights of creators and innovators, or of persons to whom such rights have been assigned, to control the exploitation of their creations and innovations. The Department's purpose in modernising the Island's intellectual property laws is to give businesses and individuals confidence that their intellectual property will be protected and to make the Island an attractive place to hold intellectual property.

Minister for Economic Development John Shimmin MHK explained:

'My Department is seeking to attract and nurture innovative and creative enterprises and, unsurprisingly, they have an expectation that their intellectual property will be sufficiently protected both here and elsewhere. Following the 2011 consultation paper my Department decided that, in general, it is in the Isle of Man's best interests to afford the same level of protection for intellectual property on the Island as is given by UK law. When coupled with the Island's other fiscal and business advantages I believe this will help to keep us competitive internationally and so attract and retain business. We are now implementing an ambitious programme of legislation so that our aspiration becomes a reality.'

The European Union (Intellectual Property) Order 2013 will apply five European Union Directives relating to intellectual property to the Island. Implementation of the Directives by subsequent Regulations, to be submitted to Tynwald in March, will bring the law of the Island on copyright and related rights closer into line with that of the United Kingdom and other Member States of the European Union. Other changes are planned to follow later in the year.

The programme of legislation follows a consultation process undertaken in 2011 in which DED sought views on 81 separate proposals to modernise the Island's intellectual property legislation.

The present changes which are being made relate to unregistered rights (copyright, design right, rights in performances, database rights), which are contained in Acts of Tynwald. The Department is also modernising legislation relating to registered rights (including patents and trademarks) which rights are contained in Acts of Parliament which extend to the Island subject to modifications made by Orders in Council. While the process for modernising registered rights is, in general, more complex and lengthier than that for unregistered rights because it requires the involvement of the UK Government, work on extending the relevant legislation to the Island is also underway.

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