02 September 2005

Q. Why aren't there more British Patents? A. Because Enforcement is too Expensive!

On our other blog, nipc IP/it Update I posted an article "Patents: Why are there not more British Names in the Patent Office's Top Ten?" Compared to France, Germany and even the Netherlands, the UK does not do very well in the patent applications stakes. The authors of the DTI's Innovation Report muse that that may be because UK business "may not have a grasp of the
fundamentals" when it comes to protecting investment in brands and technology.

In my article, I suggest that business people in this country have only too good a grasp. They know that enforcement is prohibitively expensive. If they can't enforce a patent or other IPR, why bother to apply for one? It hasn't always been the case. Until 2000 there was a lot of state support for innovators through civil legal aid. Since then, inventors and entrepreneurs have been left to their own devices.

The article considers insurance, suing outside the UK and the promise of possible changes in the law.

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