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The latest report from the US Patent Office has revealed that the United Kingdom is falling behind in the international league table. While the UK filed 3464 US patents in 1998, compared to 2678 the year before, the annual statistics, revealed on Friday, showed that the UK was in fifth place after Japan, Germany, France and Taiwan, and only just ahead of Canada and South Korea. That will be bad news for the UK government, which has plans to encourage innovation here. ®

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