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Only about two in five UK biotechnology companies would be able to prove successfully in a US courtroom that they had invented their technology at the time they claim, according to a report by Nabarro Nathanson. The report, conducted jointly with the Confederation of British Industry and launched last week, examined how UK biotechnology companies registered, exploited and protected their intellectual property rights. Called The Prepared Mind?, it found that many risked losing their patent rights in US court battles. It said that the vast majority of these companies protected their breakthroughs using the patent system, but around 4 per cent were prepared to risk all and rely on confidentiality to protect their discoveries.