Commercial Implications of the Copyright Act 2019

Commercial implications of the Copyright Act 2019

What is the 2019 Act?
The Copyright and Other Intellectual Property Law Provisions Act 2019 (the ‘Act’) came into force in December 2019.

What is the purpose of the 2019 Act?
The purpose of the 2019 Act is to modernise the copyright regime in Ireland by making better provision for copyright and other intellectual property protections in the digital era and also make it easier for right holders to enforce their IP rights in the courts.

What are the key changes as a result of the Act?
The Act makes a number of key changes including:-

IPOI – renaming the “Patents Office” to the “Intellectual Property Office of Ireland”.  This change is more in line with the role of the office and also complements naming conventions for such offices across the EU;

Courts – allowing owners of intellectual property to pursue lower value intellectual property infringement claims in the District and Circuit Courts. Previously such claims were required to be brought through the Commercial Court (which is the dedicated Intellectual Property court of the High Court).  This change will result in quicker access to hearings and lower legal costs;

Fair Dealing – the existing law has been revised and broadened in the context of media business;

Education – making it easier for teachers and researchers to display works otherwise protected by copyright by expanding the current exception;

Disability Access – creation of modified works by non profit organisations for people with disabilities now permitted;

Non Commercial Research – allowing exceptions for text and data mining enabling researchers to make copies for analytical purposes, within certain provisos;

Other changes – include; amending the term of copyright in designs from 25 years to the life of the creator plus 70 years; amending the design and artistic works copyright provisions to allow the protection apply irrespective of whether the work was ever lawfully made available to the public; creating an exception for use of copyright works to allow for parody and caricature; that the authorship of a film soundtrack is to be treated as part of the film for copyright purposes; and, creating the offence of interfering with photographic work metadata.

Is this Act relevant to you?
The value and importance of intellectual property is continuing to grow.  A robust brand protection strategy is essential for a successful business, particularly if you envision an expansion or sale at some stage in the future.  Of particular direct relevance is the fact that this Act will streamline access and costs for rights holder seeking to protect their intellectual property.

How can we help?
Reddy Charlton Solicitors advise clients on both contentious and non contentious intellectual property matters, having considerable experience and a number of experts in the area.  If you have any intellectual property queries or are seeking further information on our range of services please contact a member of our Commercial Team who will be delighted to assist you.

Jonathan Mills joined our team in October 2019 and works in the Commercial Team advising on all aspects of commercial and business law.