"The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) ... set out proposals to expand its Patent Opinions Service and is seeking views from business on how to improve its Mediation Service.
The Government is committed to providing SMEs with the economic environment and framework they need to grow. The Hargreaves Review identified a number of barriers facing SMEs trying to making the most of their Intellectual Property. One of these was the cost of managing IP, in particular resolving disputes surrounding the enforcement of their own IP rights and defending themselves against allegations of infringement made by others.
... The IPO’s Patent Opinions Service allows individuals or companies to request an opinion on the validity or infringement of a patent and is well used. A review of this service demonstrated a high desire from users for expansion of the service to aid resolution of further patent disputes. Government is now consulting on the following proposal:
- expanding the questions relating to patent validity that can be the subject of an opinion;
- expanding the service to offer opinions as to whether a Supplementary Protection Certificate ('SPC') is valid or is infringed;
- giving the IPO the power to consider revoking a patent following issue of an opinion which concludes it is invalid.
The IPO provides a Mediation Service to any parties involved in an IP dispute who wish to resolve matters without resorting to the Courts. However, uptake of this service is low and the IPO is therefore seeking comments and supporting evidence from key stakeholders and IP right holders on the reasons for this. This will be used to determine what service, if any, the IPO should be offering to support speedier and lower cost dispute resolution".The Patent Opinions Service consultation will run for 12 weeks and concludes on 4 September 2012. Please send your comments here.
Thank you, John Miles (Potter Clarkson), for the link.