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New Minister of IP invites SMEIA for breakfast


29-11-2012 11:49:40 by Admin

 In a recent reshuffle Baroness Wilcox was replaced by Lord Marland as Minister of Intellectual Property.  SMEIA requested a meeting and our Chairman was offered a breakfast session along with others who turned out to be from the FSB, BCC, Intellect, UKTI, CBI, TSB and ICA.  Two officers of the UKIPO were also present (Bob Gilbert and Rosa Wilkinson). The new Minister seemed very keen to listen and did "take away from the meeting" two crucial points  raised by SMEIA along with a few others.  The first was that a valuable patent owned by a UK SME cannot be enforced because of legal and costs barriers, some of which are artificial, so the concept of "patent protection" as [mis]sold by the UKIPO and associated industries is therefore not delivered as part of the patent bargain entered into by the State.  The State however publishes patented details so they are readily accessible and copied.  


The second main issue was that our competitors have penalties in place for infringing a patent with many EU states offering criminal sanctions as well as fines whereas the UK fails to offer any punishment whatsoever.  The equivalent to having been caught with stolen goods and only getting asked after a long legal battle to return the goods irrespective of the damage caused. 


Both points make it hardly surprisig that UK SMEs struggle to grow into the "next Google, Facebook, Microsoft ,Twitter etc" that the Government wants to see creating employment in the UK.  Given past DBIS and UKIPO inexcusable inaction,  SMEIA expects Lord Marland to respond with positive suggestions on these points - solutions have been suggested by SMEIA such as that in the document "The Economic Failure of the Patent System".