Scotland had a confident week last week with two major investments announced in the Life Sciences sector, and Jack McConnell claiming, in a speech in America, that Scotland is on the brink of a new enlightenment. It can be safely said that Scotland, and indeed the rest of Britain is moving towards a more knowledge based economy.
However an economy of this type is not without it's problems, and at the moment the Government, through the Gower Review, is trying to find the right balance between protecting Intellectual Property rights and encouraging innovation. There is a specific emphasis within the review on the digital age, which has created fresh issues in the realm of Intellectual Property Law.
Intellectual Property law in the UK comes from a variety of sources, principally the common law and secondary legislaion implementing directives from the European Union, the most recent of which is the Intellectual Property Enforcement Directive, which must be implemented by member states by 29 April 2006 (for more information see April's Intellectual Property Bulletin, accessible through the website).
The Gower Review is one of the many reviews that the Government has launched in this field and experts consider that it is unlikely that the review will prompt wholesale change of Intellectual Property law.However, in this sector, where technology is developing almost daily, flexibility to adapt is as important as protection if hopes for the knowledge based economy are to come to fruition.