Hargreaves implementation: Patents
Progress - latest news
study of Patent thickets
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 (1.31Mb) and a full summary of the report (24Kb).
patents changes - publication of responses
Today, 30 April 2013, the Government published its response on the expansion of the Intellectual Property Office’s Patent Opinions Service (180Kb) consultation. The Government also published an updated impact assessment (147Kb).
The response sets out proposals for the expansion of the Patent Opinions Service, which will help businesses resolve more of their disputes without the need for litigation. The proposals will also remove some of the burden of challenging invalid patents from affected businesses.
The Government also published its response on other proposed changes to the Patents Act and accompanying impact assessments. These changes will reduce burdens on business and allow the IPO to continue leading the way in reducing duplication and speeding up patent processing across the major national IP offices through the use of initiatives such as worksharing.