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Patents: British patents lose out to Europe

作者:印首偌    发布时间:2019-02-26 08:12:07    

By BARRY FOX THIS YEAR’S annual report from the British Patent Office shows that the office continues to suffer at the hands of its European counterpart. The report (HMSO, Pounds sterling 8.30) shows that the number of applications filed for British patents continues to fall, while the number of applications for European patents filed through the European Patent Office in Munich continues to rise. The report shows that only 29 369 applications for British patents were filed by inventors from all round the world in 1989, compared with 30 471 the year before and 31 965 in 1985. The number of inventors who pursue their applications by paying for the Patent Office to search through prior literature has also fallen consistently, from 19 088 in 1985 to 15 903 in 1989, with the number of applicants who then pay extra fees for a full technical examination falling from 16 542 in 1985 to 11 348 in 1989. Meanwhile the European system continues to grow with over 58 000 applications filed in 1989. The swing away from British filing means a drop in revenue from official fees, meaning there is both less work for examiners and less money to pay them. In the longer term it means a drop in the revenue collectable from inventors who must pay renewal fees to keep granted patents in force. Significantly, although the report shows a slight increase in renewal fees paid to the British office, from Pounds sterling 26.2 million to Pounds sterling 27.8 million, this total includes Pounds sterling 7.8 million in respect of European patent fees of which nearly Pounds sterling 4 million was passed on to Munich. The only bright spot in the report is an increase in the number of trademark applications filed, to a record level of 40 052. But if Britain fails in its bid to become the home of the European Trademark Office, a similar pattern will be repeated in this field in future years. Patent information Copies of patents, which contain fuller details and the addresses of inventors, are available from science reference libraries around Britain. For details of free public access and purchase price, contact the London Patent Office at State House, 66-71 High Holborn, London WC1R 4TP (Tel 071-831 2525) or Science Reference and Information Service at 25 Southampton Buildings,

 

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