Why the Country that pioneered the Industrial Revolution is falling behind everyone

A post on my other blog which ties in with the Gowers Review which I mentioned here briefly on 5 Dec 2005 (Gordon Bennett (or should that read “Brown”?) – Gowers Review of Intellectual Property) may go some way to explain why Europe in general and Britain in particular is lagging so far behind other countries in the patent application stakes. I review the EPO’s study on the cost of patenting in “Cost of Patents: EPO tells us what most of us already knew“.

Very briefly, it appears to cost £20,861.15 for a UK inventor or other applicant to get patent protection in his home market, compared to the £7,004.85 than an American would be charged and £3,731.36 that a Japanese would pay. There are lots of other useful statistics too.

None of these comparisons even starts to consider the cost of enforcement which is so much higher here than in the rest of Europe as the report of the government’s own advisory committee on intellectual property reported two years ago in “The Enforcement of Patent Rights”. Two members of the committee, Mandy Haberman and Roland Hill, called the enforcement a systems failure in their supplementary report. In his response, Lord Sainsbury dismissed the former and ignored the latter.

The lesson to be drawn –




About Jane Lambert

I am a barrister specializing in intellectual property, technology, media and entertainment and competition law. I specialize in helping SME (small and medium enterprises) protect and exploit their investment in brands, design, technology and the arts. SME require intellectual property (legal protection for their intellectual assets) at least as much as big business but their limited means restrict the way they can use it. Looking after such clients wisely requires skills and knowledge which have taken me years to learn.
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