A law that could help intellectual property owners assert their rights more freely came into force yesterday. The Intellectual Property (Unjustified Threats) Act 2017 curtails a legal remedy available to a party threatened with IP infringement.

From now parties cannot be held liable for making an ‘unjustified threat’ merely by asserting their ownership. The act introduces a  provision preventing actions from being brought against advisers provided they act on instructions and identify their client in communications.

Professional advisers, including solicitors, who make a ‘threat’ on a right owner’s behalf will be no longer be liable for unjustified threats, provided they make it clear they are acting on the instructions of their client.

The bill was drafted by the Law Commission and backed by the Law Society’s intellectual property committee.

Separately today a second batch of EU trade mark reforms also came into force, including the introduction of a certification mark.

The mark will allow a certifying institution or organisation to permit parties adhering to the certification system to use the mark as a sign for goods and services, as long as they comply with the certification requirements.