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The Department of Economic Development is currently modernising the Island’s IP law, and to this end is in the process of bringing forward a number of items of new legislation.

Consultation 2011

The Department’s proposals were originally set out in the consultation document Intellectual Property Rights in the Isle of Man, published in May 2011. In general the purpose of the review was to ensure that the Isle of Man’s intellectual property laws are broadly in line with UK and EU policy. A review document containing the responses to the consultation was published in February 2012.

As a result of the consultation the Department decided to take forward 76 separate proposals. The proposals included ―

  • extending the duration of copyright and rights in performances
  • changing the scope of existing exceptions and introducing new exceptions
  • reflecting changes in technology
  • providing for the enforcement of certain rights arising under EU law
  • introducing new intellectual property rights
  • improving the machinery for enforcing rights

UK legislation

Some of these proposals, relating to the registration of patents, designs and trade marks, involved adopting amendments of Acts of Parliament which had been made in the United Kingdom but had not been extended to the Isle of Man. These have now been effected by the making of new Orders in Council replacing the existing Orders modifying the Acts in their application to the Island ―

These Orders came into force on 11 November 2013. 

Manx orders and regulations

Other proposals involve the adoption, by means of orders and regulations made under Act of Tynwald, of changes in intellectual property legislation made in the United Kingdom to comply with a number of EU Directives, which would not otherwise apply to the Isle of Man.  These include ―

  • Directives 2001/29/EC on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society
  • Directive 2004/48/EC on the enforcement of intellectual property rights
  • Directive 2006/115/EC on rental right and lending right and on certain rights related to copyright in the field of intellectual property
  • Directive 2006/116/EC on the term of protection of copyright and certain related rights

So far as they relate to copyright and other unregistered rights, they have been implemented by the following regulations under the European Communities (Isle of Man) Act 1973 (of Tynwald) ―

These instruments came into force on 1 April 2013.

Copyright etc. (Amendment) Bill 2014

An Act was passed in 2014 which made various changes to copyright, perfomers' rights and unregistered designs including:

  • making wider provision for forfeiture of articles infringing copyright and rights in performances
  • reducing the duration of copyright in certain unpublished works
  • providing for licensing in relation to 'orphan works', and 'extended collective licensing', in respect of copyright and rights in performances
  • creating a 'publication right' where an out-of-copyright work is published for the first time
  • conferring 'moral rights' on performers in relation to their performances

The Act came into operation on 1 May 2014, with the exception of section 5.

European intellectual property rights

The Isle of Man has protected Community trade marks since 1998. Improved protection is conferred by the application to the Island of Regulation (EC) 207/2009 by the Community Trade Mark Order 2014 (SD 2014/0087), supplemented by the Community Trade Mark Regulations 2014 which came into force on 1 June 2014.

Unregistered and registered Community designs are now also protected. This is achieved by the application to the Island of Regulation (EC) 6/2002 by the Community Design Order 2014 (SD 2014/0086), supplemented by new Community Design Regulations 2014 which came into force on 1 June 2014.

Changes which it is NOT intended should be adopted

The Department does not propose to seek the adoption of legislation for ―

  • an artist's resale right(droit de suite)
  • public lending right
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