Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Relevance of Patents

The article, “Our New and Improved, Doubly Ineffective Patent System”, posted on October 17, hits on the alleged ineffectiveness of the new patent reform bills, which, the author say, do not serve their purpose.
According to the article, the new patent bill failed to promote its own goals, which are mainly:
  • To encourage disclosure of inventions
  • To encourage the development of new ideas
The article pointed out some of the flaws in the new reformed patent bill, which state that:
  1. inventors fear disclosure because of the guarantee of an inequitable conduct charge - well-founded or not - should the resulting patent ever be litigated
  2. the arbitrary limits set by the Patent office on the number of claims that can be obtained for a disclosed invention often discourage creative individuals.
In a way, the author was right in saying that the government should take a more liberal stand in regard to the works of “the best and brightest minds” of our society.
I hold the same view that inventors should be given as much freedom as possible in introducing their creations to society and fully develop them for the improvement of our conditions. Patents are applied to protect these inventions from being used and abused.
We have to remember that creativity spurs progress and development and in setting limits to our abilities, we are stunting the growth of our own civilization.
Obtaining a patent for something you create or invent is done in these conditions:
a) the invention was known or used by others in this country, or patented or described in a printed publication in this or a foreign country, before the invention thereof by the applicant for patent
b) the invention was patented or described in a printed publication in this or a foreign country or in public use or on sale in this country more than one year prior to the application for patent in the United States . . ."
The preparation of an application for patent and the conducting of the proceedings in the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to obtain the patent is an undertaking requiring the knowledge of patent law and rules and Office practice and procedures, as well as knowledge of the scientific or technical matters involved in the particular invention. If you have an invention that you need to register and patent, it is best to consult a lawyer to help you with it.