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The Chancellor Gordon Brown announced on Friday that he has commissioned an independent review into intellectual property rights in the UK. Andrew Gowers, former editor of the Financial Times, will lead the review.

The review, which will run for 12 months, will look at the way in which Government administers the awarding of intellectual property rights, and the support given to consumers and business.

It will consider how well businesses are able to negotiate the complexity and expense of the copyright and patent system, including copyright and patent licensing arrangements, litigation and enforcement. It will also look at whether the current technical and legal IP infringement framework reflects the digital environment, and whether provisions for 'fair use' by citizens are reasonable.

The Government has previously committed to examining whether the current term of copyright protection on sound recordings and performers' rights is appropriate. This will also be conducted within the review.

"I believe that intellectual property is at the heart of Britain's success in the knowledge economy,” said Andrew Gowers. “This review will ensure that we maintain a world-class environment for creativity, design and innovation."

Copyright © 2005, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

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