Patents

Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 20th March 2014.

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Photo of Adam Afriyie Adam Afriyie Chair, Members' Expenses Committee, Chair, Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, Chair, Members' Expenses Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the annual cost to the UK economy of patent trolls and patent assertion entities.

Photo of David Willetts David Willetts Minister of State (Universities and Science)

We have no current estimate of the annual cost to the UK economy. However, the UK Intellectual Property Office has commissioned work on patent litigation in the UK, as part of an international study. This included a review of actions by Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs) by Dr Luke McDonagh of London School of Economics. Its results showed that PAE actions in UK courts were usually unsuccessful and that their business model is not attractive if they have to run the risk of costs after losing. Fewer than a dozen cases reached the UK courts in the period 2000-08. This is a much smaller proportion than the “troll” litigation evident in the USA.

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