And a few more...
"However, I do believe that patents should be invalidated if the inventor (or owner of the patent) has no intention of putting it to use, as this goes against the fundamental reasons for patents existing in the first place. If this condition was in the patent (if challenged you must prove you are not just sitting on the patent) then trolls would be out of business, and technology would advance, just as patents were designed for."
Licenses of rights can be obtained from the UK IPO Comptroller, when the market demand (for the patented technology) is not being met by the patentee. Has been in the UK Patents Act since 1949 (at least, if not earlier), and Patent Law of most jurisdictions 'that matter' have similar provisions, if not worse (your Turkish patent -national or as a result of a granted European patent- will be revoked if you do not supply evidence of use of the invention in Turkey within 3 years of the date of publication of the Turkish grant).
"What we really need is a way for the small business or individual to be able to take on a big corp who has infringed his patent without incurring crippling legal fees, and enduring lengthy proceedings."
The introduction of UK Patents Court has already substantially reduced litigation costs, but there is currently a proposal to cap the costs of UK patent infringement proceedings at £50k, with the blessing of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (because we just happen to know which side of our bread's butterred, would you believe).
"That's bollocks. In 99% of cases it's pretty much identical. Most patent infringing products are mass produced in the far east and sold by people who know full well the goods are dodgy."
Most patent infringing products are actually #patented products# manufactured on behalf of the patentee, but consist of 'excess production runs' sold by the manufacturer to parallel importers (in breach of contract with the patentee). For that type of product/situation, Registered Design (UK or EU) is much easier and cheaper to obtain and enforce (and for IP-savvy businesses, is usually sought at the same time as patents).
"But of course a patent lawyer would say that wouldn't he. If patent infringement does become a criminal case people like him will lose income."
Not likely, it just means we'll have less hassle chasing bad debtors, since we'll be invoicing the tax payers instead :-D
"The problem for Trev is that a change like this will only protect him in the UK. It's not going to protect him against somebody selling knock off Taiwanese gear in Mexico City."
So get a Mexican patent and/or a Taiwanese patent.
Patents are jurisdictional animals, always have been, why should your UK patent (which only exists because UK Statutes say it can and does) have any effect in Mexico or Taiwan (which are legally independent from the UK juridicition)? It's enough that it can be used to stop UK imports of the Taiwanese knock off and leave you with the full UK market.
Second pint, because I'm having a liquid lunch.