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Hargreaves implementation: Patents

Progress - latest news

July 2013

  • A study of Patent thickets  Latest addition

    IPO has published commissioned research on the definition and impact of "patent thickets", a concept coined in the US to denote “a dense web of overlapping intellectual property rights that a company must hack its way through in order to commercialize new technology”.

    The Hargreaves review recommended:

    "... the Government should Investigate ways of limiting adverse consequences of patent thickets, including by working with international partners to establish a patent fee structure set by reference to innovation and growth goals .... The structure of patent renewal fees might be adjusted to encourage patentees to assess more carefully the value of maintaining lower value patents, so reducing the density of patent thickets".

    The aim of this research was to:
    - Understand whether thickets - defined by networks of overlapping claims - deter entry by new competitors,   especially SMEs;
    - Understand what effects pending patents have as a barrier to entry and their relationship with patent thickets.

    For further information, please read the full report PDF document(1.31Mb) and a full summary of the report PDF document(24Kb).

April 2013

June 2012

  • Patent Opinions

    On 12 June 2012, Baroness Wilcox, the Minister for Intellectual Property, launched a Government consultation PDF document(934Kb) and accompanying impact assessment PDF document(147Kb). This consultation is seeking views on the proposals to expand the Intellectual Property Office’s Patent Opinions Service.