[Martin Caton in the Chair] — Intellectual Property
Pete Wishart (Perth and North Perthshire, Scottish National Party)
Good morning, Mr Caton. I welcome you to the Chair and the Minister to his place. I know that hasty rearrangements have been made to allow him to plug a few gaps this morning. I am grateful to you and the Minister for coming along, and I hope that our little chit-chat about intellectual property will be intellectually stimulating. I refer to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests.
I thought that it would be interesting and opportune to examine intellectual property issues and economic growth, because there is so much stuff going on. It has been several months since publication of the Hargreaves review, which made several recommendations, and the Government’s response. In the past few weeks, the Intellectual Property Office has embarked on consultation on how those recommendations can be implemented, as well as doing us the favour of introducing a few new recommendations of its own, which I will touch on. Also in the past few weeks, the Government have appointed Richard Hooper to lead the new digital copyright exchange. He is consulting on the best way to take the new body forward, and I want to encourage as many people as possible to give evidence to both consultations to ensure that we get both issues right as far as possible.
We are getting into the awards season when the cream of the intellectual property-supported industry and artists will be celebrating at events such as the British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards and the BRITs. I have a ticket for the BRIT awards ceremony. I do not know whether you have, Mr Caton, but I would be happy to tell you about it the following morning. I know that some of my colleagues here today are looking forward that great event.