On the one hand, patent law developed enough to adequately protect the interests of inventors and manufacturers of new products and other interested parties (access information about the nature of patentable subject matter).
On the other hand, the same positive features grow into quite different phenomena affecting the market. The rapid growth in the number of patent applications in many countries in recent years is leading to a slowdown and a decline in the quality of patent offices, duplication of their efforts in considering applications identical in different countries. It also complicates the access for inventors and other persons to reliable the information about the contents and scope of protection of existing patents, but it reduces the level of scientific knowledge available to society by choosing the inventors do not patent their forms of protection. The state of affairs seriously increases transaction costs and the costs for obtaining all the necessary licenses in the issuance of technologically sophisticated devices. The current legislation deprives the profits of manufacturers for a long time waiting for the issuance of a patent and multiplies the number of legal disputes between multiple patent holders in certain areas.
The way to go
National patent offices should seek to establish close cooperation with the relevant authorities in other countries to use the same database of patentable subject matter in order to simplify and expedite the review of applications.
The increase in patents in overlapping fields of science and technology leads to a multiplication of interrelated patent lack of understanding of who exactly is necessary to obtain consent for the use of his invention, the growth of conflict and litigation, to the prevalence of “defensive” nature of patenting (instead of stimulating innovation), receivable low scientific patents to the emergence of patent obstacles when several different owners of patents prevent each of them to produce their products, as well as try to acquire malicious profit from owning interdependent patents (the production of smartphones is a bright example).
The fastest growing in recent years is the number of patents in the field of computer technology and telecommunications, and industry experts express serious doubts that the patenting support innovation. Inventions in these areas often follow logically from existing inventions and innovations, rather than represent a new word in science and technology. As a result, support for innovation is weak, and patents form a long list of obstacles of course, hindering market growth.
There is no single way to solve the problem of patent ‘thickets’. Market participants themselves are taking advantage of different methods of restoring order: creating standards, patent pools and so on. Businesses tend to invest heavily in maintaining legal cleanness, and virtually all the solid entities dealing with research and innovation put maximum effort into protecting the fruits of their labour. A quick example is universities, investing into researches and looking to ensure ROI numbers; e.g. the University of Manchester has established UMIP, the branch that assists scientific departments with intellectual property and commercialisation fields.
Awaiting government moves
States in this regard can take the following three steps:
Prevent the spread of patenting on areas of business where the catalytic role of patents lower compared to the overhead created, increase the amount of fees for maintaining the patent in force and provide for the issuance of patents of higher quality.