Last week the Queen told us that "A further Bill will make it easier for businesses to protect their intellectual property". The day after this announcement, a new Intellectual Property Bill had its first reading in the House of Lords. It primarily relates to design rights (both registered and unregistered) and notably changes the rules on first ownership of rights in designs - under the current drafting, commissioning the creation of a design will no longer automatically entitle you to ownership of the resulting design.
This change will make the ownership rules applicable to designs more consistent with the ownership rules applicable to copyright. So, if the Bill is passed in its current form and you subsequently pay a designer to create a design, then in order to own all rights in the resulting design, you will need to obtain an assignment of these rights from the designer (unless the designer is one of your employees).
A general debate on all aspects of the Bill is scheduled to take place in the House of Lords on 22 May. We will follow this with interest.