Patents are so supposed to protect inventors, allow them to innovate and earn a living from their inventions. However they are been assimilated into the corporate arms arsenal, used to bombard corporate rivals, and annihilate start-ups before they have a chance to blossom.
Any large corporation who takes a liking to a inventor or start-up’s patented idea will in most cases just take, borrow or steal it, ignoring the threat of legal actions knowing their deep pockets will hire the best lawyers and exhaust the bank accounts of any new comers and interlopers.
Intellectual Property, especially the Patent, is a natural resource like Coal, Iron Ore, Rare Earth Metals or Wheat, which should be managed and maintain for the good of the country, not just the individual inventor. We need to become experts in exploiting this recourse, in the same way that we create a new gold mine or manage and nurture a forest.
We need to encourage the individual, SMBs and large corporations to develop and exploit this wonderful resource. We need to prevent encourage innovation and prevent large companies in particular from stifling new comers, let the market decide a products fate not the courts. Encourage entrepreneurs take the risk with a new idea, to think big and benefit from the rewards if it starts laying golden eggs.
This is my Patent Ten Commandments for changing the broken patent system.
- All patents registered are the property of the country in which the are first registered, like the financial reserves, a countries intellectual reserves should be recognised.
- The country patent office’s act as agents for all patent registered in that country, managing licencing agreements, and paying royalties to the inventor.
- The patent offices will challenge infringement of their patent portfolios both at home and abroad. The World Trade Organisation would act as the final arbitrator between country patent offices.
- The individual or company registering a patent may request a breathing space in which to attempt to bring their invention to market, with possible extensions based on periodic review by the patent office, based on proof of effort and clear time scales (no dogs in the manager). Once the product is on the market the patent should be licensed to others, allowing the country to benefit further from the patent.
- Companies of a certain size may register patents; thus identifying prior art, thus establishing a defensive position, prevent others from the claiming the same patent. However the patent immediately becomes available to be licensed.
- Small companies, individuals and start-ups should be able to license patents at beneficial rates
- Companies may not create small subsidiaries and holding companies to register or use individual patents, and will be penalised for doing so.
- Individuals or companies may register their first 10 patents for free, with an increasing scale of fees based on the number of patents registered.
- Patents should have a tightly defined purpose, and rather than a blunderbuss approach. If a patent is used outside its defined scope it should be considered innovation.
- Monopolies in particular industries or industry sectors should be discouraged at all cost, Licenses should be provided at preferential rates to encourage competition and hence further innovation.