There is good news for inventors according to an intellectual property lawyer at Wragge & Co, who reckons that UK businesses could benefit from a new and cheaper way of protecting minor inventions.
When it is introduced, Utility Model Protection will bring the UK into line with most other European countries, speed up the protection process and bring down the cost. It will also mean that some innovations which cannot obtain patent protection can be registered for the first time in the UK.
Companies most likely to benefit are those involved in ‘mechanical’ production including car parts, precision instruments, watchmaking and toys industries which can find patent protection prohibitively expensive.
According to intellectual property lawyer Luke Kempton, these are the companies that will really benefit from the new Utility Model. This will protect minor inventions and will mean that a business has only to file an application with the Patent Office describing its invention, and it will be granted registered rights. An application in a similar form can be registered in other countries and protection will last for up to 10 years.
Utility Model Protection will probably no apply to bio-technology or pharmaceutical inventions.