UK firms too lax on patents

British companies risk wasting research and development expenditure and incurring major costs in patent litigation because they are failing to act to protect intellectual property rights, a survey has warned. Engineering companies are among the least active in filing patents compared with firms in other industrial sectors, according to research carried out by Information Research […]

British companies risk wasting research and development expenditure and incurring major costs in patent litigation because they are failing to act to protect intellectual property rights, a survey has warned.

Engineering companies are among the least active in filing patents compared with firms in other industrial sectors, according to research carried out by Information Research Network for Derwent Scientific and Patent Information.

UK firms are also way behind their mainland Europe counterparts on dealing with intellectual property and patenting.

More than 70% of the 360 European companies surveyed admitted they had wasted expenditure on R&D because they did not realise that the work they were undertaking had already been patented by rivals.