London, UK A Patents Bill has been published which is designed to update and improve patents law aims to provide a more supportive framework, particularly for small businesses, to enforce patent rights and ensure that UK patent law continues to promote innovation.
The Bill includes measures which would help those trying to resolve disputes over patent rights, and provisions to ensure compliance with international commitments that help UK businesses.
It will enable the Patent Office to provide an independent non-binding opinion on patent validity or infringement to settle disputes over patent rights without parties having to resort to expensive litigation and bring UK patent law into line with the revised European Patent Convention (EPC) to reduce bureaucracy and make it simpler for UK businesses to operate across Europe.
It will also modernise UK patent law to be more responsive to customers needs by for It example, allowing the Patent Office to make amendments to application forms without amending regulations and modify existing protection for alleged infringers to encourage out-of-court settlement of disputes whilst still deterring patent owners from making unreasonable allegations of infringement.
The EPC, which establishes the European patents system, was revised in 2000 and the Bill will bring about changes to UK patents law that are necessary if the UK is to remain a member of the Convention.