Policy Workshop: IP Viewpoints Archive

UK plan to ratify single patent is a pragmatic approach

The UK is to ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement. That flies in the face of prime minister Theresa May’s pledge to be free of the EU Court of Justice - and hints at a ‘soft’ Brexit

The Great IP Debate: Do patents do more harm than good?

A formal debate at Euroscience Open Forum in Manchester pitted pro- and anti-patent experts. You decide the outcome.

US fast track for cancer patents shows intellectual property can drive innovation

While Brexit has put hopes for the unified European patent on hold, a new US pilot exemplifies how a single efficient patenting system can be used to underpin and promote innovation

Could Brexit be a death knell for the European Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court?

UK withdrawal from the EU will fundamentally change the basic scope of the Unitary Patent and the associated Unitary Patent Court. This could permanently jeopardise the launch of the European single patent

Patents can make or break drug discovery in Poland

There are several barriers holding back science-industry collaboration, but the most urgent one is the reluctance to protect intellectual property in advance of publishing research results, according to two of Poland’s leading patent attorneys

How natural materials can be patent protected

Limpet teeth have overtaken spider silk as the world’s strongest natural material. As attempts are made to replicate and put this material to use, it is important to look to the IP strategy, say patent attorneys Ben Dempster and Jennifer Unsworth

How Europe could get more out of its intellectual property

The economic significance of patents ranges from impacts on growth and global trade, to patent portfolio management within firms. The EU could do more to extract value from its patent store, says Theon van Dijk, Chief Economist, European Patent Office

Time to remodel management of university IP

Traditional tech transfer makes it hard for industry to realise commercial potential, and for universities to maximise the value, of IP. A new approach pioneered by the University of Manitoba aims to change this, using IP to underpin collaboration, explains Digvir Jayas

Halfway there: more change is needed to win the innovation race

At the mid-point of her mandate, Research and Innovation Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn says a lot has been done, but there is more to do, and some tough battles to win

European business to increase R&D spending despite crisis

Top EU businesses expect their investments in research and development to grow by an average of 4 percent annually over the period 2012 to 2014

EU Patent: Let’s get over the finishing line

Recent progress has been encouraging, but MEPs’ decision not to vote on the single European Patent leaves innovative businesses without the historic breakthrough they so desperately need, says Jonathan Zuck

Tech transfer rules: time for transition

The existing EU rules on tech transfer agreements may be intellectually stimulating for competition lawyers and economists, but they often make little sense to businesses. The current review by the Commission should lead to simplification, say Bristows' Pat Treacy and Osman Zafar

Fearless Angels are critical in overcoming the capital shortage facing innovation

It’s often hard to quantify, but angel investing is a growing around the world. New data indicate this will be key to overcoming the growth challenges facing entrepreneurs, says the OECD's Karen Wilson

China’s seismic shift in IP

As China becomes a major generator of intellectual property, so it is becoming more committed to protecting IP and enforcing the law

Question the conventional wisdom on patenting and finance for start-ups

It’s widely accepted that intellectual property and equity are essential ingredients for a start-up. But this is not true in every case

New intellectual property laws are needed to drive economic growth

A UK investigation demonstrates the essential role intellectual property plays in innovation - and makes a compelling case for reform

Copyright in the Internet Age

The old principles of intellectual property regulation are strained in the Age of the Internet. Reform is needed, says Francis Gurry, Director General, World Intellectual Property Organization

The language of patents

Limiting the number of languages used by a unified patent court is not an affront to Europe’s cultural diversity, but a pragmatic move to increase its competitiveness.

How to get IP protection for new varieties of plants and animals

Genomics is turbo-charging traditional plant and animal breeding. But can new varieties get patent protection, ask Nicholas Jones and Rachel Wallis of Withers & Rogers LLP.

English Court of Appeal deals with first gene patent

Human genes are patentable, says the English Court of Appeal, but only if the patent describes a practical way that the gene or protein can be exploited.

Make English the sole language of patents

As the Commission prepares to set out translations rules for the European patent on May 18, here are some helpful suggestions from Bruno Van Pottelsberghe of the Bruegel think tank.

Opinion on DNA patents is cause for concern

A European Court ruling on GM soy protein has implications for the patent rights of biotechs, say Nicholas Jones and Josie Zhou of the law firm Withers & Rogers LLP.

Patent problems

R&D is changing, the function of intellectual property is changing. But patent systems are failing to respond, says EPO President Alison Brimelow.

China’s new patent law is good news for global innovators

Recent improvements in intellectual property protection make China a great place to innovate, says patent attorney Adrian Tombling.

Patent failures

While the US needs a quality lift; Europe needs political leadership and new governance, says Bruno van Pottelsberghe of the Bruegel think tank.

What is the best structure for a university’s technology transfer office?

Universities should think carefully when deciding whether to set up TTOs as separate companies or keep them in house, says Tom Hockaday from Isis Innovation.

Money can’t buy innovation

Everyone’s strapped for cash – except pharma. But the latest spending spree is no more of a fix for expiring patents than botox is for ageing skin, writes Nuala Moran.

De-railed by Le Crunch

The French Presidency made headway on the Small Business Act, but other matters, notably patent reform, were run off the rails by the financial crisis, says Science|Business’s Paul Meller

EPO’s final rejection of fundamental stem cell patent creates further uncertainty

Depending who you ask, the long-awaited and final ruling on the University of Wisconsin’s WARF patent is either a landmark decision or signifies nothing.

Sucralose case may undermine evergreening

David Alcock of the Patent Attorneys D Young & Co addresses concerns that a recent patent judgment undermines the concept of evergreening, even though Tate & Lyle’s US patents to Sucralose are valid.

Wither Intellectual Property?

As patent offices choke on the surge in demand, and illegal downloading and counterfeiting grows apace, Francis Gurry, new head of WIPO, outlines his priorities.

The economic facts of life

A conference in Brussels separates the fact from myth in technology transfer.

Small biotech companies deserve special treatment

Biotech start-ups in France and elsewhere in Europe make a unique and important contribution to healthcare. They merit special treatment to help them grow.

Editor's Chair: When the university goes public

The stock-market debut at the end of July of Imperial College London’s tech-transfer office is the best news for academic reform in years.

Don't let the deadline get out of reach

Complying with the EU’s labyrinthine new REACH chemicals legislation was always going to be a tortuous process. For those who wait too long, it could be impossible.

Join the dots for successful technology commercialisation

Technology transfer is a sensitive and complex process. Changing one factor won’t provide the magic bullet, says Anna S. Nilsson, Science and Technology Attaché at the Swedish Embassy in Washington DC.

Size Matters

It's better to have fewer, stronger, spin-offs than shoals of tiddlers, as Marina Murphy discovers.

Starting a tech company: Crazy or WISe?

Carlos Moreira, co-founder and chairman of Swiss data-encryption firm WISekey, talks to Science|Business editor Richard L. Hudson on the travails of entrepreneurship.

Seed treaty: securing the future for agiculture

The international treaty on plant genetic resources needs a gesture of trust to repair the atmosphere of suspicion that has developed, argues Emile Frison from the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute.

Still avoiding the question

The TeGenero drug trial is complete, and an ongoing study is examing whether trial requirements should be changed. But, asks Nuala Moran, should the trial ever have been approved?

Editor's Chair: Brussels is listening - but can it act?

EU technology policy is moving beyond the numbers game, and getting down to economic basics.

Patents: a help or hindrance?

Without access to easy to use analysis tools, patents are becoming an expensive hindrance to many small companies, says Mick McLean, Head of Economics and Public Policy at Scientific Generics.

A picture of health?

AstraZeneca’s outrageously high bid for Cambridge Antibody Technology underscores the heat rising in the biotech market.

Not ageism – realism

The European Research Council’s plan to give grants to young researchers could help in the reform of Europe’s sclerotic research structures.

Editor's Chair: The spanner in the works

Two New Year's resolutions for the governments around the world that have managed to gum up the economic machinery behind technological development.

Scientific migration: a drain, or a gain...or something else?

Scientists are moving around as never before. And, argues Jean Guinet from the OECD, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Editor's Chair: A French affair

A politician's gaffe highlights the gender gap in science. Political action, not talk, is what's needed to close it.