Inventor Trevor Baylis, who invented the wind-up radio
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Are patent laws a wind-up?

The European Union hopes to boost invention as it creates a single patent system for the whole region.

A new system for registering patents across the EU has been launched after decades of arguments and negotiations.

The European Parliament has approved a new system that will allow inventors to register their idea with a single EU agency.

Under the old system patents had to be registered separately in every country, which made the process cumbersome and substantially more expensive than in the United States.

Officials have said the change will stimulate innovation and improve the EU's competitiveness.

Trevor Baylis, who invented the wind-up radio, told the Newsnight programme that the law should go even further.

Mr Baylis said a universal patent system should be introduced and intellectual property theft should be a criminal offence.

  • 20 Feb
  • From the section Europe