Changes to trademark disupte processes have been welcomed:

“It should provide a faster alternative to standard oppositions in cases which rely on a maximum of three earlier marks and where the grounds are limited to identical or similar marks and identical or similar goods or services… This is likely to reduce the costs and timescale involved in a standard opposition.”

Chris Mcleod, first vice president of ITMA and director of trademarks at Squire Sanders LLP

“…(the reform of IP dispute processes) reflects a welcome trend in the UK and Europe for proportionate, cost-effective procedures for resolving IP disputes. The availability of high-quality simplified procedures for use in appropriate cases encourages innovation, since smaller, less well-funded right owners will know that there is a means by which they can still enforce and defend their rights.”


New business models may fall foul of regulations that were intended for another age. Whilst we did not crowd-source specific regulations, we did receive more than 600 comments on a wide range of regulations.

Outcomes of the Challenger Businesses Red Tape Challenge

This open theme gave rise 7 measures that relate to regulations. 1 regulation will be scrapped and six will be improved. The remaining reforms mostly relate to improvements to the way the UK manages intellectual property.

Key Reforms

1) BIS have taken out of scope intermediaries, such as private property sales portals, which enable private sellers to advertise their properties and provide a means for sellers and buyers to communicate with one another.

2) Improving the 1994 Trade Marks Act, including making it easier for SMEs to object to infringements of their trademarks and setting refundable fees high enough to dissuade frivolous appeals.

3) Repealing the 1991 Property Misdescriptions Act as the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations protects consumers.

Further Measures

This theme has also inspired a new Challenger Business programme to identify and tackle the barriers to growth for challenger/insurgent businesses, which started in October and is also led by Michael Fallon and Oliver Letwin. This programme looks not just at regulatory barriers (although this is often a key part), but whatever is holding back the sector:

Ministers are considering the findings and expect to announce the first results in due course. The programme was mentioned in the Small Business Strategy.

Please email suggestions of areas for us to look at.

Click this link to download a spreadsheet of this theme’s deregulatory measures.

You can see comments received by clicking through to the sub-category page.

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