Thursday, 1 September 2011

Patent documents may be made available to the public

The Patents Act 1977 (Amendment) Regulations 2011 (SI No 2059) are, paradoxically, to do with copyright - but copyright in patent documentation, for which they carve out an exemption:
Regulation 2 inserts a new section 118A into the Act which contains an exception from copyright. This provides that copyright is not infringed in a copyright work when a document is copied or made available electronically to the public for the purpose of inspection in accordance with section 118 of the Act. The exception from the right to communicate the work to the public does not extend to broadcasting the work.
It seems perhaps a little late in the day to slip that in - under the provisions of the information society directive, which dates from 2001.

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