Andrew Gowers, the man leading a wide-ranging review of the U.K.’s intellectual property legislation, has vowed to address the issue of companies abusing the patent system.
Speaking at a seminar in London on Thursday, Gowers acknowledged that there are concerns that the present system may hamper competition.
“There is an accusation of a rise of companies sitting defensively on patents,” said Gowers. “There are patent thickets, which are a complex web of patents which may stunt invention and discourage research and development.”
Gowers, a former editor of the Financial Times, was chosen by the government late last year to lead an independent review into intellectual-property rights in the U.K. This featured in the Labor Party manifesto in the last election, which included a commitment to “modernize copyright and other forms of intellectual property so that they are appropriate for the digital age.”