The United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) launched two new patents databases on its web site this weekend. The databases will be updated weekly and provide search facilities.
One contains all UK granted patents which are no longer in force, typically because they have lapsed due to failure to pay fees. This database therefore contains inventions which are no longer protected in the UK and are therefore ripe for commercialisation (if they weren’t rubbish in the first place.) Often patent owners have expended everything they can getting the patent and due to poor marketing awareness or presentation even excellent inventions can fall by the wayside. This therefore could prove to be a very useful source of revenue generation.
The other database contains all patents in force in the UK which are endorsed Licence of Right (LOR), and are therefore open for licensing. A LOR allows anyone to get a licence for your patent.
After grant of a patent in the Patents Journal you may apply for a LOR entry to be included in the register of patents. This may be purely a humanitarian decision, but also brings financial rewards of a reduction in renewal fees, whilst allowing the inventor to continue working his invention.
Both the new databases will help businesses identify opportunities they might otherwise not have found.
Sean Dennehey, Assistant Comptroller and Director of Patents, said, in a heady moment:
The introduction of these two new free databases, which were recommended in the Gowers Review, will we hope, give UK businesses ready access to good ideas and new opportunities.
However this development is undoubtedly an excellent idea that will hopefully revive some of the brilliant inventions we at Lawdit often sadly notice languishing in the vaults of the UK IPO.