Mike Weatherley, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Hove and Portslade, and former Intellectual Property Adviser to the Prime Minister, has welcomed a funding announcement by his colleague Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe, Minister for Intellectual Property, which pledges £3m for the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU).
Mike was a strong advocate for PIPCU during his time as the IP Adviser to the Prime Minister, and wrote to both the his colleague the Rt Hon Theresa May MP, Home Secretary, to praise the excellent work of PIPCU, and the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon David Cameron MP to push for extra funding. PIPCU is currently funded by the Intellectual Property Office, but before todayís announcement funding beyond 2015 was uncertain.
Baroness Lucy Neville-Rolfe announced today that £3m will be made available to PIPCU to fund the operations of the police unit from 2016-2017. For more information on the funding boost, click here.
In his letter to the Prime Minister in April this year, Mike said: ďI appreciate that funding for this new unit is not permanent. However, I would like to put on record my support for committing future funding to fighting IP crime and boosting the current level of financial support that is available for PIPCU. As I am sure that you are aware, the creative industries add over £70 billion to our economy and so it really is in our national interest to protect that revenue.Ē
Commenting, Mike said: ďI am delighted that this funding boost has been announced. Throughout my time as the Prime Ministerís Intellectual Property adviser I called for PIPCU to receive more secure financial backing, so I am pleased that the Government has taken this issue seriously. PIPCU without doubt is invaluable in our long-term strategy to tackle IP crime and I know that the dedicated team, led by Commander Steve Head, will be delighted with this welcome news.Ē