Government bringing in plans for superfast patent protection

THE GOVERNMENT yesterday confirmed plans to introduce a so-called superfast system for granting patents in a bid to encourage innovation.

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) said it would consult on changes that could see the time it takes to gain protection for intellectual property cut from years to just 90 days.

The plans have been spearheaded by business secretary Vince Cable, who has introduced a range of reforms to the IPO intended to encourage growth.

These have included measures to make patents cheaper and a crackdown on intellectual property crime. The minister for intellectual property, Lord Younger, said: “Inspiration and inventive thoughts can emerge at any time, but acting on them quickly can often be the catalyst for making a real difference to the success or otherwise of an idea.”

Penny Gilbert, a partner at intellectual property law firm Powell Gilbert, said the move would provide a boost to small, fast growing firms, such as internet startups, rather than pharmaceutical giants.

“Such a system would provide early patent protection to demonstrate patentability and assist in raising finance, so it is potentially good for early stage companies,” she said.