Ruth Mitchell

New patent laws could help businesses

Businesses will benefit from changes in UK patent laws, which are now clearer and more flexible, claims intellectual property and quality minister Lord Triesman. The new laws, which came into force this week, will affect how patents are amended. Businesses needing to amend a patent, due to a dispute, will have more options and flexibility.

Ian Fletcher, CEO of the UK Intellectual Property Office (UK-IPO) said: “This new European patent law is a welcome modernisation which offers business greater certainty and flexibility, and as such will be a boost for innovation in the UK.”

Those patenting inventions relating to methods of treatment or diagnosis will also benefit from the revisions. The changes will make it clearer which inventions are patentable and will also give known drugs more legal protection. Under the new laws patent applications for inventions in Europe may now be used to show that an invention is not new.

Lord Triesman said: “This is the first Europe-wide reform of patent law for 30 years, and I am delighted that it has come to fruition. “The modernised and updated law will better enable businesses in the UK and in Europe to deliver economic benefit from their inventions.”

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