Patent System Allows Big Business to “hijack” Small Business’ Ideas

The current patent system makes it too easy for large companies with deep pockets to “highjack” small firms’ ideas, the SME Innovation Alliance (SMEIA) has said in a letter to Business Secretary Vince Cable. John Mitchell, chairman of SMEIA, the body set up to represent small businesses in the technology and science sectors, said the UK’s intellectual property (IP) framework was “unfair” towards small businesses. “A false assumption is made that an SME holding a patent will have protection for their related investment in R&D and any related innovation.” he wrote in the letter to the Business Secretary. “But for high-tech SMEs ? the main source of new business tomorrow ? a patent is almost impossible to enforce.” Speaking to The Daily Tele... »

Patent FAQs

What is a Patent? A patent is an exclusive right given by law to inventors to make use of, and exploit, their inventions for a limited period of time. By granting the inventor a temporary monopoly in exchange for a full description of how to perform the invention, patents play a key role in developing industry around the world. Once the owner of an invention has been granted a patent in any particular country, they then have the legal authority to exclude others from making, using, or selling the claimed invention in that country without their consent, for a fixed period of time. In this way, inventors can prevent others from benefiting from their ingenuity and, ultimately, sharing in profits from the invention, without their permission. In return for these ownership rights, the applicant ... »