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UK drug law, copyright law and IP law

Lib Dems propose major shake-up of UK drug laws

Lib Dems propose major shake-up of UK drug laws

A battle to legalise cannabis is set to start in Parliament as Liberal Democrat MPs propose a major shake-up of the UK's drug laws.

Norman Lamb wants the drug to be legalised in order to stop money going into the pockets of criminals and to prevent the lives of people who are prosecuted for possession of the substance from being "blighted" by a criminal conviction.

The former Lib Dem health minister said: "A regulated market in the UK will take profits out of the hands of organised crime and reduce both health and social harms.

"I've argued for a long time that our laws on drugs are outdated, harmful and well overdue for reform."

He is also calling on David Cameron to back his proposed Cannabis (Legalisation and Regulation) Bill.

"I am challenging the Prime Minister to support this Bill," Mr Lamb said.

"After all it is widely reported that he used cannabis as a student and we know he used to advocate reform. What has changed?

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British Inventor Taken For A Ride By The UK's IP Laws

You may not have heard of the entrepreneur Rob Law, but if you’ve done any travelling at all, you’ll almost certainly have come across the product he invented. Law is the man behind the ride-along suitcases that have become so popular with families travelling with children: these brightly coloured cases on wheels are a common sight on concourses at airports and train stations all around the world.

However, while Law may have come up with the idea a decade age, the suitcases you’ll have seen won’t necessarily have been from the Trunki range that his Magmatic company subsequently developed. His invention was too clever – and too commercially popular – for rivals not to take note and copycat products have flooded the market.

Unfortunately for Law, moreover, the UK’s intellectual property laws aren’t protecting him from these imitations. Indeed, the UK’s Supreme Court has just ruled against him in a hearing concerning Trunki luggage, siding with an opponent who freely concedes that the idea for its own product was inspired by Magmatic’s products.

PMS International, the manufacturer of the Kiddee range of ride-along suitcases for children, has never sought to pretend that its products, which significantly undercut Trunkis on price, came about as a result of independent creative thinking. Nevertheless, it determinedly fought a case brought against it by Magmatic, which had pointed to the considerable patents and design rights it had put in place around the Trunki range. This month, judges ruled in PMS’s favour.

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Changes to UK copyright law put Facebook, Twitter and Instagram images at risk

Users of Social Media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are at risk due to changes to copyright law in the UK that could allow others to exploit photos that they upload online.

The adjustments are contained in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act, or as it has been nicknamed, the "Instagram Act", which was passed through Parliament last week.

What the act doesn't mean, unlike what many reports around the web have suggested, is that users can take any image posted to a social website and use it as they wish.

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