Towards Patent Standardization
27 Pages Posted: 29 May 2016 Last revised: 13 Jul 2016
Date Written: May 27, 2016
Standardization of patent language and form can improve the notice and disclosure functions of patents. Standardization has been discussed at length in many institutional and legal contexts, but little in relation to patent content. Similarly, while problems arising from lack of standardization are well characterized, practical suggestions for increasing standardization have been absent. This Article provides a comprehensive discussion of standardization of patent content. The Article's key intuition is that standardization can be achieved through a wide variety of mechanisms. In particular, standardization does not need to be mandated by formal rules. Rather, it can arise through voluntary informal mechanisms, providing an easier goal than statutory or regulatory intervention. This Article also offers strategies for increasing standardization in less tractable patent environments, such as software. Specifically, the Article discusses representational languages, already prevalent in software design, though not in resultant patents, as well the role of SSOs and other private organizations in encouraging standardization, and increased use of templates.
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