Electronics patents boom as Europe follows Japanese lead

Electronics patents boom as Europe follows Japanese lead
Alex Mayhew-Smith Patent activity is on the increase in the electronics industry in Europe, according to the patent information company Derwent. A spokeswoman said that the electronics industry proportionally had the highest uptake of patents among industries such as chemicals, pharmaceutical and communications equipment. BT is one example of this. It claims it is now registering an increasing number of patents. Anthony Parish, director general of the Federation of Electronics Industry, believes that the UK industry is following the Japanese habit of patenting every individual part of an invention. “I also think that the speed with which companies now respond to one another will also affect the situation. You have to use any lever you can to get an edge over the competitor.” More disturbingly, the Derwent survey found that UK industry lags behind the rest of Europe in understanding the role of patents, operating corporate patent policies and running regular audits. One factor cited in the report for not filing patents was the complicated process involved in actually applying for and filing them. An EU taskforce set up to help European businesses recently called for the modernisation of the European patent system.


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