Blog

Daylight robbery: The hidden fees charged for annual patent renewals

Over eight million patents are held worldwide by many thousands of businesses. All have to pay regular renewal fees, usually every year, to the Patent Office for each country to keep their patents in force. The amount payable is usually modest (£100 or so) – varying from country to country and with the age of the patent. But you can be charged up to 4 times the actual cost to make these payments! This extra cost quickly mounts up when…

Read More

Industry Focus: Green technology patenting

In our first Industry Focus column, RenewalsDesk looks at the thriving green technology industry and how a gold-rush on renewable energy patents could help, or hinder the future of the industry… New research by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) shows that since the turn of the millennium there has been a surge in the number of global patents being applied for worldwide within the green technology field. Applications for patents related to solar PV energy, for example, were well…

Read More

Google wages war on Patent trolls

Google has come under fire from so-called patent trolls on several occasions over the last ten years. At the start of 2014 the company was ordered to pay 1.36% of its Adwords revenue to a small business that purchased a group of patents originally filed by Lycos. Given that Adwords has been one of the most spectacular financial successes of Google this is a very important ruling. The concept of ‘patent trolling’ (i.e. purchasing patents with no aspiration to develop…

Read More

UK ditches patents quicker than most other countries

The average time that patent holders keep their patents for in the UK has fallen drastically short of countries such as Canada and Germany a new report has found. The average UK patent holder only keeps their patent for 7.6 years according to a recent study by the World Intellectual Property Office (WIPO). By comparison, countries such as Germany have an average of 11.3 years, South Africa 11.1 years and India 11 years. Out of all of the countries with…

Read More

Tell us your patenting gripes!

We’re very excited to announce the launch of a series of ‘Industry Focus’ blog articles looking at the role of intellectual property across a range of different industries. Having spoken to a number of patent holders from various design disciplines we have already found that there is no shortage of frustrations with the rather over-complicated system of intellectual property and costs and process of renewing intellectual property. “We think it’s incredibly important to consult with various industries regarding IP,” said…

Read More

Who really looks after your patent renewals?

There has been much debate lately about the idea of outsourcing patent applications and renewals to third parties, especially given the sensitivity of much of the data that is being processed. The vast majority of patent holders will not be aware that attorneys regularly outsource their patent annuities again, to be taken care of by a third party. Firstly, this means that renewals become more expensive than they need to be because both the attorney and the patent renewal service…

Read More

UKIPO online patent renewals system falls short of expectation

It was gratifying to see the UK Intellectual Property Office, in partnership with the UK government, this week launch a new digital system for patent renewals, but unfortunately it falls short of existing solutions in the market such as RenewalsDesk. The launch is part of an effort to reform the customer experience of patent and trademark holders in the UK and part of a wider – and very welcome – scheme run by the UK government to bring its red-tape-ridden…

Read More

Patent trolls damage US startup investment

Over the last ten years the US has seen a rising number of so-called patent trolls, companies that have the sole purpose of registering patents and subsequently suing unsuspected companies who often inadvertently infringe the patent through their own innovations. A recent study by James Bessen and Michael Meurer suggested that trolls cost the US economy around $30 billion per year in legal costs. It is something that may be seriously stifling creativity and innovation as startups look to create…

Read More

EU moves closer to unitary patenting system

Plans for a single unitary patenting system covering the EU may finally be coming to fruition, despite tumultuous attempts to adopt it into European law. The advantages of a unitary patenting system will be that applicants would be able to protect their intellectual property across a number of European member states without undertaking the costly full granting procedure in each individual state, and one regular renewal fee would be payable to one single central entity, with the fee expected to…

Read More

UK and China launch super-fast patenting highway

In an ongoing effort to increase trade links between the UK and China, a pilot programme has been launched aiming to help businesses fast-track patent applications between the two regions. The idea of extending the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) scheme to China was raised following a Prime Ministerial trip to China last year. It means that when a patent is granted at either the UK patent office (UKIPO) or Chinese patent office (SIPO), applicants can get a quicker decision on…

Read More