Prime Minister, David Cameron, has revealed the Government's programme to facilitate better high-tech innovation in the UK. In the programme, entitled "Blueprint for Technology", the Government recognises the "need to drive the economic growth of the future", and sets out a commitment to make the UK a more attractive place for innovative businesses.
A key part of the Blueprint programme will be a six-month independent review of the UK intellectual property laws to ensure, in the words of Mr Cameron, that they are "fit for the internet age".
The review will explore various aspects of intellectual property law - from a general assessment of the enforcement of intellectual property rights, to an exploration of the more specific challenges faced by small and medium-sized enterprises in relation to intellectual property.
One of the most prominent aspects of the review will no doubt be its evaluation of how the current intellectual property system can be adapted to better drive growth and innovation in the technology sector; addressing issues such as the barriers faced by new internet-based business models relating to intellectual property.
Indeed, during his speech introducing the programme, Mr Cameron referred to a discussion he had had with the founders of Google. In the discussion, the founders had told Mr Cameron that the potential uncertainties arising from the restrictive terms of UK copyright law would likely have prevented them from being able to start such a company in the UK.
To this end, the review will evaluate the potential benefits of the adoption of a more liberalised US-style approach to the use of copyrighted material.
However, while a less restrictive approach to the use of copyright may indeed encourage innovation, any such liberalisation is likely to be met with some resistance from those in the creative industries.
Accordingly, while there is a real need for intellectual property law to develop to meet the demands of the modern economy, the Government will still need to carefully manage the fundamental dichotomy between rights users and rights holders.
The results of the review are expected to be published in April next year and should make for interesting reading.
The Government's "Blueprint for Technology" can be accessed by clicking here.