Trevor Baylis, the inventor of the wind-up radio, was in the press this week calling for patent theft to be branded a criminal offence. Currently, patent holders must take any action against infringers of their patent through the civil courts – a very costly process. Mr Baylis points out that copyright currently enjoys protection under criminal law so why not patents?
This suggestion has not found favour with many members of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys with one quoted as saying that the criminal system may not be suited to patent actions which “can take days and weeks and months of deliberation by highly skilled lawyers”. That statement, however, appears to support Mr Baylis’s complaints that protecting a patent in the civil courts is not cheap.
Will it happen? Almost definitely not. The policy and trading standards offices have better things to do. However, it has been good PR for Mr Baylis!! Also it helps increase the pressure to make civil patent litigation cheaper.
On September 4, 2009