Following the excitement and then disappointment of the attempt to launch satellites from Spaceport Cornwall in January, anticipation of the first successful UK launch is rising again.
An estimted time frame "before the end of the year" has been given for the first rocket launch from SaxaVord Spaceport, with the prospect of the Civil Aviation Authority granting the necessary licences now on the horizon.
With two German companies committed to launching from SaxaVord Spaceport, and reports of the Japanese space agency showing interest in utilising UK launches, the UK is once again showing itself as a global player in the space sector.
It is well understood that this positioning of the UK as a leader in space technologies does, and will continue to, have great impact on the country's economy. Indeed the latest government report on the size and health of the UK space industry quoted that the industry had a total Gross Value Added effect of £18.3 billion. But what might this mean for the intellectual property market in the UK?
Well, as discussed in my commentary on patent protection for manufacturing in space, we recommend that where patent protection is being sought for innovations and inventions being launched into orbit, the country of launch should be considered as a key territory for obtaining protection.
There is a possibility, therefore, that UK launches becoming the norm could fuel a surge in UK patent filings relating to space based inventions.
I for one look forward to discovering how this develops and can't help but feel a great sense of anticipation for the next launch attempt.
In the meantime, for those seeking advice to ensure that their IP strategy is fit for purpose now and in the future as the UK space sector continues to grow, Marks & Clerk are on hand with leading global intellectual property expertise.