Title: Patent infringement clearance practice in UK and German automotive companies

Authors: Ian P. Hartwell

Addresses: Engineering Intellectual Property Research Unit, School of Engineering, Cranfield University, Cranfield, Bedford, MK43 0AL, UK

Abstract: An empirical study of the patent infringement clearance practices in ten UK and German automotive companies has been carried out. Covering the various clearance measures, their extent and timing, the study provides data with which intellectual property managers can benchmark their own clearance practices. In addition to establishing modal behaviour, the study reveals a wide variation in clearance practice and corporate risk management philosophies. This in turn has implications for what the courts consider to be 'reasonable' clearance behaviour and how the patent offices educate SMEs to manage third party patent infringement risk.

Keywords: patent infringement clearance; freedom to operate; automobile industry; automotive firms; corporate risk management; UK; United Kingdom; Germany; intellectual property management; clearance behaviour; patents; SMEs; small and medium-sized enterprises; third party infringement; patent infringement risk.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIPM.2012.045849

International Journal of Intellectual Property Management, 2012 Vol.5 No.1, pp.1 - 18

Available online: 11 Mar 2012 *

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