Law Commission review of Groundless Threats Provisions

Law

The Law Commission for England & Wales is currently performing its review of the Groundless Threats provisions that form part of our patent, trade mark and design right laws. The current provisions provide a legal remedy against losses encountered as a result of threats (typically made to customers) to sue under IP rights when those rights are non-existent, not-yet-granted or invalid.

In some quarters, it is suggested that the laws are inconsistent between different types of right, are outdated and/or inconsistent with the general trend towards amicable settlement at the early stages of litigation.

The Law Commission will shortly end the public consultation period and report its findings to the Government early next year. It is unlikely that the provisions will disappear, but some modernising reform is likely. Further information here.