The UK represented only 0.3% of global patents in the semiconductor industry last year, despite a surge in new technologies in the sector, new research has found.
Intellectual property law firm Mathys & Squire has found that the number of newly filed patents in the semiconductor sector rose by 59% in the last five years, reaching just under 70,000.
Despite this boost, the UK may be lagging behind, even with innovative UK-based firms in the industry. China filed more than half of microchip patents, while the US filed a quarter.
While the UK has a history of developing technologies in this area, through companies like Arm, a lack of government support, combined with rapid growth from foreign markets may be contributing to Britain’s lost ground in the sector.
The government has come under heavy criticism in recent months over its failure to support research and development (R&D) in the semiconductor business and beyond.
While the Conservatives have provided tax credits to firms developing new technologies, the UK tech community has condemned its decision to reduce access to these incentives for the purpose of tackling fraudulent claims.
Looking at the semiconductor industry more specifically, the government has also faced growing pressure to deliver a microchip strategy to support and grow the UK’s standing in the vital industry.
Politicians, industry bodies, and tech entrepreneurs have all accused Britain of falling behind both western competition, in the form of the EU and US, as well as the dominant semiconductor cluster in Asia, championed by China and Taiwan.