In a study released last night aimed at improving IP rights enforcement, the Patent Office called for the creation of a mutual insurance association to provide a fighting fund of Â£50,000, and possibly much more, for each member, to allow companies to take patent infringers to court. Government funding would be required for an initial period while membership numbers grew to a level for the mutual to be self sustaining. According to the Patent Enforcement Project study
- It would be funded by subscriptions, income from investments. Additional
funding may be possible through recoupment of costs from patentees the mutual has successfully assisted to obtain a favourable settlement or damages.
- Government funding would be required for an initial period while membership numbers grew to a level for the mutual to be self sustaining.
- The mutual would provide cover to fund preliminary investigations to
establish the scope and validity of the patent for any member who can show prima facie that their patent is being infringed.
- The mutual will also purchase patent insurance to cover the litigation costs of any member whose preliminary investigation shows a strong case that its patent is valid and has been infringed.
- The mutual should establish a panel of high quality lawyers in the United
States who would be prepared to take on mutual-funded cases on a contingency basis.
- Premiums, or member subscriptions, must be priced differentially, according to risk.