Britain proposes fund for patentees to litigate
The UK Patent Office is concerned that the high costs of legal action often prevent smaller patent holders from defending their intellectual property against competitors that are better financed.
The idea, supported by Lord Sainsbury, science minister, arises at a time of mounting concern in the government over Britain's record on innovation and IP protection.
In a study released July 28, 2004 aimed at improving IP rights enforcement, the Patent Office called for the creation of a mutual insurance association to provide a fighting fund of £50,000, and possibly much more, for each member, to allow companies to take patent infringers to court.
The report acknowledged that the scheme, likely to be similar to the Medical Defence Union, would almost certainly need government funding until enough companies joined to make it self-sustaining.