Magistrates given more sentencing powers

July 2012

All areas

The IP Kat reports that Royal Assent has been given to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 which introduces into England and Wales a wide range of reforms to the justice system — some of which affects that complex web of laws we all know and love as intellectual property. Section 85 of the Act (not in force until a commencement order is made) removes the £5,000 upper limit on fines that can be handed down by the magistrates’ court, thus giving magistrates more freedom to hand down fines that they consider to be proportionate to an offence. This change affects the penalties on summary conviction for many offences: counterfeiting; piracy; unauthorised receipt of broadcasts and the use of illicit decoders and copyright circumvention devices under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

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