Gowers Review of Intellectual Property

01 October 2006

The Gowers Review of Intellectual Property (IP) was established by HM Treasury to examine whether improvements could be made to the UK's existing IP framework, especially in the context of rapid technological change and globalisation.

The Society's response emphasised that it is very rare for IP to be created without building on earlier work. While it is important for people to be rewarded for their work in order to encourage entrepreneurial activity, the maintenance of free information flow, freedom to research, and in some areas the flow of experimental material, tissue or reagents, are crucial for the development of science. We therefore believe that it is vital that the IP exemptions for research and private study are not undermined, particularly by technological developments.

The response also drew on our report Keeping Science Open published in April 2003. Its findings and recommendations, largely in the areas of patents, copyright and database rights, are still highly relevant three years on.

The Gowers Review is expected to report to the Chancellor, the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport by the end of the year.

Related links

The Gowers Review of Intellectual Property