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Reforms to intellectual property

​Modernised intellectual property laws will make Jersey a more attractive place for new businesses. A new law governing copyright and other unregistered intellectual property rights came into force on 18 December 2012. 

The new law, the Intellectual Property (Unregistered Rights) (Jersey) Law 2011, ensures that there is good protection for works such as books, films, CDs and video games. The new law also deals more fairly with use of works by, for example, libraries or schools. We are continuing work to update other intellectual property laws, including those that can protect inventions and brands created by Islanders and local businesses.

Why is the intellectual property law changing?

Opportunities arising from the development of Jersey’s intellectual property laws, particularly when linked to e-commerce, are seen as a major potential contributor to Jersey’s economy in the future. The development of intellectual property law is therefore a high priority for economic development. A modern, effective and fair legislative framework is important not only to the individuals and businesses that create intellectual property but also to the service industries that support such businesses.

Improving Jersey’s attractiveness as a jurisdiction for intellectual property related business will mean achieving compliance with international conventions and agreements in the relevant areas. The new convention compliant law on copyright and related rights means that Jersey can seek extension of the Berne and Rome Conventions, and the WIPO Copyright, and Performances and Phonograms Treaties to the Island.   When other laws are also updated, this will deliver compliance with the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement (TRIPS), which is administered by the World Trade Organisation, and the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.

What work has been done?

Work to update the law relating to unregistered intellectual property rights has been completed.  We consulted the public and industry on three proposed intellectual property laws in 2007 - 2008:

  • the draft Copyright (Jersey) Law 200-, which dealt with the right of the author, composer, artist or creator of an original work to prevent another from copying it
  • the draft Design Right (Jersey) Law 200-, dealing with the right of the designer to prevent others from reproducing the design
  • the draft Performers’ Protection (Jersey) Law 200-, dealing with the right of the performer to prevent another from copying, recording, or broadcasting performances
Following the consultation, more drafting work was undertaken to take account of the responses.  The three laws were combined into one law with different parts covering copyright, the rights related to copyright and unregistered design right.  The revised law was lodged in October 2010 and adopted by the States in December 2010.  The new Law received Royal Assent in November 2011.
Regulations making transitional provisions were lodged in October 2012 and were adopted by the States in December 2012.  The Appointed Day Act for the new Law was also adopted by the States in December 2012 to bring the new Law into force on 18 December 2012.  Four Orders supplementing provision in the new Law have been made by the Minister for Economic Development and they also came into force on 18 December 2012.  This includes an Order setting out how the rights in the new Law apply to material having its origin in other countries.  Much material from other countries was protected in Jersey under the old copyright law.  Protection for relevant material from other convention countries is an essential requirement for convention membership.  Much material having its origin in Jersey will be protected in other convention countries as a result of UK membership of the conventions.  The convention membership Jersey is seeking will ensure that there are no gaps in protection for relevant material in other convention countries where that material has its origin in Jersey.

Relevant documents

The new Law relating to unregistered intellectual property rights, the Regulations making transitional provisions and the four Orders can be found on the Jersey Law website.

Download Intellectual Property (Unregistered Rights) (Jersey) Law 2011 (Appointed Day) Act 2012 on Jersey Law website
Download Minister's covering letter for 2007 Intellectual Property consultation (size 200kb)
Download Intellectual Property 2007 consultation document (size 22kb)
Download Intellectual Property 2007 consultation - summary of responses (size 28kb)
Download draft Copyright (Jersey) Law 200- (size 889kb)
Download draft Design Right (Jersey) Law 200- (size 194kb)
Download draft Performers’ Protection (Jersey) Law 200- (size 297kb)

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