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Sir James Dyson, the inventor of the bagless vacuum cleaner, has called for a reform of the system that he says does not support design and patent holders.

Sir James said that no only were patents expensive in the first place, inventors were then faced with renewal fees which, if unpaid, lead to a person loosing the rights to their own work.

He has suggested that elements of the simpler German or French patent systems could be incorporated into the UK.

“The system does not support design and patent holders. You don’t bring a case because of the expense and the risk that if you lose, you pay the other side’s costs. The 82pc [that lose legal disputes] have gone to all the trouble and expense of developing the technology and then some company comes along and rides on their coat tails. It’s grossly unfair.”

Speaking as he opened a Dyson ‘incubator’ to support design start-ups at London’s Royal College of Art. The scheme will enable postgraduates access to mentors and subsidised rent to build their start-ups.

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