Wednesday, April 13, 2016

There is no "world-wide" patent

The NY Times has an interesting piece titled Lifting the Patent Barrier to New Drugs and Energy Sources.

Related to the text

The Obama administration, spurred by the drug industry, insisted that patent protections should be tightened further around the world. But several other countries argued that they raised excessive barriers for poor countries, costing lives.

one notes that patent protection is national, not worldwide. Thus, if an inventor has not filed in country X, but in country y, somebody in country X can practice in country X the invention filed in country y.

This observation is also relevant to the text in the NYT article:

A group of countries led by India argued for transferring intellectual property rights for clean energy technologies to developing nations to accelerate their diffusion. Professor Stavins offers a counterargument: “In the long term, if there are no property rights, it will destroy the incentive to develop the next generation of technologies.”

There may be an incentive to protect an invention in country y (lots of money to be made) but not in country x. But the information about the invention is publicly available.

As to TRIPS, it defines the scope of available patent protection that member states must provide [e.g., Patents must be granted for "inventions" in all "fields of technology" provided they meet all other patentability requirements (although exceptions for certain public interests are allowed (Art. 27.2 and 27.3)[6] and must be enforceable for at least 20 years (Art 33). ] BUT the inventor still must file in the relevant countries.

TRIPS does not create a "world patent." (compare NYT text: the world’s first enforceable deal to protect patents globally. ]

IPBiz has mentioned the work of Bronwyn Hall elsewhere:

Academics still running amok in IP: VCs and patents

***Separately, from blawgsearch on April 13, 2016


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