New Clause 1 - Compulsory binding technical arbitration for new and existing patents

Part of Patents Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:30 pm on 15th June 2004.

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Photo of Malcolm Bruce Malcolm Bruce Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Shadow Secretary of State for Trade and Industry 3:30 pm, 15th June 2004

I am grateful for those comments.As I said, we cannot judge the situation by the number of cases because the problem is that people fall away when they cannot maintain their actions. It is important that that is taken into account. People with big pockets are effectively winning by default against people who do not have the resources.

The Minister referred to the complexity of the issues, and I agree. Intellectual property is a complex matter by definition but, as in all legal matters, complexity plays into the hands of those with the deepest pockets. Therefore, we still have to find a simple and pragmatic way of resolving this by limiting the process and the costs. The new clause is an attempt to do that. It may not be the perfect answer but, if I

may say so, I do not think that the Bill is the perfect answer either. Keeping the consultation open, and seeing whether we can come up with a better compromise, would be a good outcome.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 13 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 14 and 15 ordered to stand part of the Bill.