HC Deb 24 April 2002 vol 384 c335 3.30 pm
Mr. Ian Liddell-Grainger (Bridgwater)

I beg to move, That leave be given to bring in a Bill to amend the Patents Act 1977 to enable a court to award additional damages in an action for infringement of patent. I invite the House to support my Bill. It is very short—it contains only 67 words—but, in legislation, size is not everything. The idea is simple. My Bill is designed to protect investors and inventors from a hugely expensive international crime: the daylight robbery of patent theft. This has nothing to do with party politics, and everything to do with looking after the people on whom our nation's prosperity may well depend. The brains—the inventors—are the men and women who come up with original ideas and get them patented, only to discover that someone has stolen their brainchild.

I want to correct a small legal anomaly. The Patents Act came into force in 1977. Eleven years later, the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 was enacted, but there is a tiny difference between them. The latter Act gives judges the discretion to award exemplary damages; the Patents Act does not. All of us in the House have patent holders in our constituencies who need our protection. I realise that the House is waiting for the Humble Address, and I therefore commend my little Bill to the House.

Question put and agreed to. Bill ordered to be brought in by Mr. Ian Liddell-Grainger, Mr. Keith Simpson, Mr. Oliver Letwin, Hugh Robertson, Mr. Michael Jack, Mr. Mark Prisk, Mr. David Heath, Mr. Jonathan Djanogly, Dr. Andrew Murrison, Mr. Paul Goodman, Mr. Hugo Swire and Mr. Andrew Turner.

  1. PATENTS ACT 1977 (AMENDMENT) (No. 2) 51 words