UK outlines plans for 90-day patents, if you have the cash

UK outlines plans for 90-day patents, if you have the cash

Summary: Business secretary Vince Cable has revealed plans to introduce a paid-for service that will allow companies to jump to the front of the patent queue from 2013.


Businesses and individuals will be given the option to pay an additional fee to speed up patent applications and potentially have them granted within 90 days under new plans outlined by business secretary Vince Cable. 

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The Intellectual Property Office (IPO), part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), is aiming to offer the queue-jumping facility to individuals and businesses wishing to secure a patent in three months. Cable announced the scheme as part of a speech on intellectual property on Monday.

"Our creativity, our openness to and talent for innovation is a key pillar of our return to robust growth. So it is right we work to create the environment in which creative, innovative businesses of all shapes and sizes flourish," Cable said in a speech at The Big Innovation Centre in St James's Park, London. 

"A vital part of getting this is making sure that the intellectual property landscape encourages and cements success and growth. This new vision for how we support businesses and consumers is central to achieving this."

BIS could not say how much the service would cost at the time of writing. 

"Some patent applicants, who might be SMEs or larger companies, may wish to establish their rights as quickly as possible, either to deter potential infringers or to secure funding," said an IPO spokeswoman. 

BIS said the service will be a quicker version of the one currently offered, but without compromises in terms of delivery or efficiency. 

"Our creativity, our openness to and talent for innovation is a key pillar of our return to robust growth" — Vince Cable

On Wednesday, the European Union said it will introduce a new unitary patent system, expected in early 2014, that will see the cost of filing for a continent-wide patent cut by up to 80 percent

BIS is also offering a fast-track trademark service that will halve the time for the examination report to be delivered from 10 days to five days. BIS said the service is likely to cost around £300; it currently costs from £170.

"Sometimes businesses want to know quickly whether something is likely to work as a trademark (TM) or whether it is likely to clash with existing TMs, before taking decisions on marketing, packaging or taking other steps to bring their products or services to market," said the IPO spokeswoman.

BIS also announced several other plans that will come into effect next year, including efforts to raise awareness of counterfeiting and online piracy, and to tackle IP crime and illegal downloading.

Topics: Government UK, Patents, United Kingdom

Sam Shead

About Sam Shead

Sam is generally at his happiest with a new piece of technology in his hands or nailing down an exclusive story. In the past he's written for The Engineer and the Daily Mail. These days, Sam is particularly interested in emerging technology, datacentres, cloud, storage and web start-ups.

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  • Money being the definition of freedom in the new normal,

    And how competition is not good when it comes to money... actually, money is more often a form of control than freedom...

    Cable's speech is so full of trite buzzwords that, if anthropomorphized to create a parallel, the speech would be akin to a drunk person about to vomit having been told so many untruths about why it was good to drink so much in the first place.

    What's going in clearly engenders no competition, if people cannot protect their works. And while wages stagnate or drop so the big boys that use their pockets to lower prices to drive out competition... never mind rising college costs since companies wanting "the best talent" or whatever don't hire bums off the street, they look for hired people with those posh and increasingly-overpriced degrees... though plenty of bums are, you guessed it, IT pros who lost their jobs in a continually-shrinking paradigm. A shrinking supply-side-centric paradigm that is too blinded by its own lopsidedness and greed to see the picture, or wonder why people stopped caring. ROI is not just for them, you know... /hint

    So, looking at the bigger picture, who needs euphemisms to obfuscate - the only thing being wasted is time by these politicians. Our time.

    So, why do they not see the big picture? Are they really so inept?