Inventor Roderick Lawrie, who holds the patent for internet-based price comparison software, is expecting licence fees to flow in after news that one "major broker" has agreed to pay.

As reported by Insurance Times in April, Lawrie was granted a 20-year patent in 1997. He said that one major broker (whom he declined to name) had agreed to pay and the terms of that agreement were being written.

Initially, major brokers decided to fight the claim rather than pay up. Lawrie said patent lawyers employed by other brokers had finished their searches and were now assessing their options. "We've had to prove the validity of the patent and that takes time," he said.

To encourage payment, Lawrie has simplified the licencing agreements and lowered prices. Rather than fees of £300,000 a year, the biggest brokers would now be charged about £150,000.

"It's going to cost them more to go to court and fight it," he said.