An International Patent Utopia?
European Intellectual Property Review (EIPR), vol. 25 (2003), pp. 515-521
7 Pages Posted: 18 Jul 2003 Last revised: 3 Jan 2020
Date Written: 2003
How to use the Internet to meet the worldwide patent crisis? Technological progress, swamping patent offices with filings, has provoked this crisis. Patent offices are neither efficiently examining filings nor optimally disclosing inventions. In response, this article proposes an interim solution. To start, new technologies would be posted on the Internet, and thus made searchable as soon as posted, within a globally distributed database. Further, certifications of such postings for completeness and novelty would serve as prima facie evidence for courts to enjoin literal infringement, even across borders, pending patent grants. Finally, such judicial relief would be coordinated with proceedings to shepherd the contributors to a technology into settling their royalty disputes worldwide. If instituted with appropriate treaty provisions, the regime proposed here would supplement, but not supplant, national and regional patent systems. Not only would this regime globalize specific patent procedures cost-effectively, but it would help to harmonize substantive patent laws. This proposal should also serve as a thought-experiment to challenge current premises about the international patent system.
JEL Classification: K11, K33, O34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation