Holly IP is an intellectual property (IP) consultancy. We act as a patent firm helping you to obtain patents for inventions. However we also give strategic advice on how best to utilise patents, and more generally whether patent protection is appropriate for your business model. We advise on how you can achieve maximum benefit from your patents, and how you can obtain the most effective patent protection with minimal cost.
These observations are based on the recent report ‘PatentLitigation in Europe’ which compares patent litigation in Germany, France, the Netherlands
and the UK.These territories have the
majority of patent cases in Europe.The
report is based on patent cases in 2000-2008 and so there is a possibility that
its conclusions may be out of date.Data
for appeals was only available for Germany and the UK.
1.Germany has by far the most patent cases,
measured both in absolute terms and taking into account country size.Over the period 2000-2008 the total numbers
of patent cases was as follows:
The Netherlands 326
2.Median times to a decision for an infringement
France: 2 years
Germany: 9 months
The Netherlands: 10 months
UK: 11 months
3.There are substantial differences in
outcomes.In the UK a high number of
patents are revoked in infringement cases, 42.0%, versus 25.7% in Germany.
4.A smaller number of litigated patents are held
to be infringed in France (5.6%) than elsewhere: Germany (22%), the Netherlands
(36.0%) and the UK (14.7%).
5.There are significant differences in whether or
not settlement happened.More than 60%
of cases in Germany end with settlement, but only 40% in the UK.
6.More cases go to appeal in the UK. 46% of
revocation and infringement cases go to appeal in the UK, where for a quarter of
cases the first instance decision is overturned.In Germany it is much lower proportion (10%
for revocation cases and 15% for infringement cases), with 16% of first
instance judgements overturned.
7.The UK and Netherlands have the largest number
of cases which are litigated in other jurisdictions (for UK 26% and for the
Netherlands 15%).The corresponding figures
are 2% for Germany and 6% for France.Overall only 8.4% of litigated European patents are subject to
litigation in more than one of these four countries.
8.The pharmaceutical industry is over-represented
as litigants in the UK, with most patents that are litigated being related to
chemicals and pharmaceuticals (31%)The
machinery industry is over-represented as litigants in Germany and most
litigated patents are in the areas of mechanical and civil engineering (33%).
9.In terms of company size, the greatest share of
litigants in the UK are large companies, whereas in other jurisdictions they
are micro and small companies.This
reflects the fact that pharmaceutical companies litigate in the UK and
litigation is also more expensive there.
10.Patents litigated in the UK tend to be more
valuable (defined by family size and number of inventors) and broader (defined
by number of IPC classes).