Alphey was recognised for his work in the control of mosquitos and the infectious diseases they carry. He has created genetically-modified mosquitoes to control dengue fever by developing a method to use genetic engineering to “sterilise” maleAedes aegypti mosquitos so that when released, these modified mosquitos breed offspring that do not survive to adulthood.
The European Inventor Award was formed by the European Patent Office in 2006 and hands out accolades in the categories of industry, small and medium-sized enterprises, research, non-European countries and lifetime achievement.
Commenting on Alphey’s achievement, intellectual property minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe said: “We are delighted that Luke’s hard work was rewarded with this nomination. Now in its tenth year, the European Inventor Award showcases the importance of intellectual property (IP) in supporting innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship.
“As part of the UK’s long-term economic plan we will continue to deliver an IP system that supports our innovators, creators and entrepreneurs. This will make sure that Luke, and others like him, maintain the UK’s position as one of the best places in Europe to innovate and protect new ideas – and the best place to set up or expand a business.”
Earlier in June it was ravelled by the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) that trademark applications had grown by 44 per cent over the last half decade. Some 54,498 applications were received in 2014, a nine per cent jump over 2013. Glaxo Group led the field in the number of applications made with 281, followed by British American Tobacco at 115 and BVIPR at 97.
The last few months have also seen further development of a long-proposed unitary European patent system, with the EU Court of Justice dismissing challenges from Spain in May. A unified patent court is expected to, when officially enacted, provide legal enforcement across the continent.
However, research from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) earlier in June found that small firms in the UK are finding it hard to product ideas and inventions. Nearly half, 44 per cent, stated that money spent on IP protection was not a worthwhile use of investment.
Image: ShutterstockBy Hunter Ruthven
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