UK government announces plans to improve international patent system

Measures to make the international system of patent application faster and more effective have been announced today by the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO).

The move comes as part of a wider effort by the UK and US intellectual property authorities to get more businesses to use the PCT system, which is designed to help businesses save money and time with a more efficient way of gaining global protection for their patents. In an effort to boost use of the PCT, the UKIPO, working in partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), have developed a strategy called PCT 20/20 that will help improve the quality of the system and make it easier to use. John Alty, UKIPO's chief executive, said: "The PCT has been a remarkable success with patent applicants since its inception and undoubtedly helped make the global patent system more efficient. That's good news for both businesses and IP offices, but further improvements have the potential to deliver significant benefits. "Working together, the USPTO and the UKIPO have set out a compelling vision for PCT 20/20. We have also improved the PCT (UK) Fast Track system to the advantage of applicants who will experience a more straightforward system as will applicants new to the process. We want our proposals to spark debate and drive forward positive change."