Patent

Patent comprises exclusive rights of an inventor or assignee as granted by a sovereign state. These rights come with expiration and require public disclosure of an invention. Patents are also considered form of intellectual property.

Patents and their extent are granted based on national laws and international agreements. However, when applying for patent, the application should include one or multiple claims for an invention. Related claims should meet patentability requirements, including novelty, usefulness, and non-obviousness. After granting of a patent, the patentee gain the exclusive rights for commercial production, use, selling, import, and distribution of an invention.

The World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights provide its members access to inventions in various technological fields.

DEFINITION

The word “patent” is actually the shortened version of “letters patent,” which was a royal decree that allowed granting of exclusive rights to an individual even before the modern patent system was developed. Other older versions of patent included land patents and printing patents.

In this modern era, patent pertains to the rights granted to people who presents new inventions in various fields. These patents can be categorized based on their related industries. Thus, there are design patents, plant patents, petty patents or innovation patents, biological patents, business method patents, chemical patents, and software patents.

HISTORY

The history of patents can be traced back to Ancient Greece in Sybaris. In this Greek city, the Venetian Patent Statute of 1450 can be regarded as the first statutory patent system. Patents were for new inventions were given in Venice, and these innovations were communicated to the Republic for the purpose of legal protection. Venetians were also required to seek patents whenever they relocated.

Throughout the years, the English patent system underwent innovations and included recognition of intellectual property. However, the system was abused by individuals who wanted to monopolize it. However, after being criticized by the public, King James I of England took action and revoke monopolies on patent to give way to new inventions.

In the 18th century, a number of developments were made concerning patent laws. Under the leadership of Queen Anne, patent applications necessitated provision of specific principles of operation for inventions; these specifications were made public. James Watt also fought legal battles regarding patents for improvement of existing machines and patents for principles without specific practical applications.

Meanwhile, other countries, including the United States, New Zealand, and Australia, used the English legal system as basis for formulating their own patent laws.

On the other hand, the French patent system saw light in 1791 during the revolution. Patent costs were initially steep but gradually declined in 1844 after revisions in the patent law.

LAW

Patent provides a person to exclude others from manufacturing, selling, or importing patented products during the term of the patent. Granting of patent provides inventors with limited property. In exchange, they are required to make important information on their invention available to the public.

However, there are still limitations regarding what a person can do with a patented invention, as it is possible to make improvements that are covered by other patents.

Meanwhile, third parties may challenge the validity of a patent, leading to opposition proceeding. Thus, it is possible to take away a patent that has already been granted. Challenges on granted patents may be based on the following: claimed subject matter is not patentable; claimed subject matter is not really new; a fraud was committed.

On the other hand, patent infringement results when a third party utilizes an invention for production or marketing purposes without granted patent. In some countries, patent owner may seek for monetary compensation in case of patent infringement. Meanwhile, the accused infringer may file for a countersuit to prove the invalidity of a certain patent.

In various countries, patents may be granted to individuals or corporations. However, in the US, patents can also only be granted to inventors though patents may be assigned later on to companies. In European countries, ownership of invention may be transferred from inventor to employee depending on special circumstances.

In case of multiple inventors, issues may arise when one of the proprietors assign their rights in the patent to another individual. Some countries allow such practice though in other nations consent of all concerned proprietors must be granted first.

Patents are granted and enforced by national laws and international treaties. However, a patent given in specific country may not be honored in another. Patents can be obtained from designated patent offices.

Depending on the country, various patent laws are implemented. For instance, Patents Act 1977 covers the substantive patent law, whereas the United States Patent and Trademark Office was created in the US.

At present, most nations are gearing toward global harmonization of patent laws. The TRIPs Agreement aimed at making nations conform to specific sets of laws. This conformation is necessary for admission to the World Trade Organization.

Other international treaty procedures include those implemented by European Patent Convention, ARIPO and OAPI, and Eurasian Patent Organization. Meanwhile, the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, which was initially signed in 1883, provides a set of basic rules for patents; the principles of the conventions are normally integrated with other patent systems. On the other hand, the Patent Cooperation Treaty is known for providing unified procedure for filing of patent applications; this convention aims at protecting inventions in each contracting states.

APPLICATION

The procedure for obtaining a patent starts with filing of application to patent offices. The application should include detailed description regarding the proper production and use of an invention. The application should also mention other claims to enable visualization of coverage of the patent. After the patent is granted, renewal fees must be paid to retain is enforcement. Fees may be paid on a yearly basis.

United States Patent and Trademark Office

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When Do You Need To Patent Your Product

For newbie inventors, one of the first the comes to their minds is whether they should get a patent first before they show to the world their inventions. However, before doing such thing they should carefully plan for the coverage of their patents. Thus, inventors should be able to realize when it is time to obtain a patent for their work. Patent is very important especially when an inventor is planning on commercializing and marketing their invention.

Patent is considered a negative right. This means that when a person is granted a patent, the government provides the inventor with the right to exclude other from exploiting their work, including commercial production and selling. Thus, inventors are given the chance to protect their products or ideas while in the market and prevent other from claiming their work as their own.

The US Patent and Trademark Office grants patents that are honored only within the states. These patents also include imported goods.

Inventors may be provided with three types of patents: utility (which covers functions), design (which covers aesthetics), and plants (which covers all types of botanical plants). An average utility patent application is priced at $5000 to $10,000. However, prices may increase depending on technological complexity of the concept being patented.

After filing of patent application, the patent office may contest some of the claims made by the inventor. Thus, with such issue that may arise, the processing of patent application may last for several years. In the US, once a granted patent expires 20 years after the date of filing.

Before filing an application, inventors should be fully aware of what is going on with their related industries. They should realize how their work can make an impact to the world. Moreover, they should know that being able to sell something is not the sole purpose of patenting. Instead, it is aimed at protecting intellectual properties and preventing other people from exploiting them.

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Intellectual Property Rights

The year 2017 has been an interesting period for various parts of the world. US politics received worldwide attention because of the recent campaign period and presidential election results. Meanwhile, people in the Middle East are currently facing migration crisis, and a number of talented artists and celebrities passed away.

However, in the field of intellectual property, the activities are pretty much the same though there are still problems that require resolving. For instance, court decisions were made regarding significant impacts of patent systems. At present, stakeholders are confused about the changes happening in the US patent system, and they blame the legislative branch for this.

Fortunately, reports are now also providing information on trademark and copyrights and how a strong system of intellectual property can be used to protect and help businesses in achieving prosperity.

With the advent of 2017, it will be worthwhile to look at some of the major trends that shook the world of IP and technology last year.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY SYSTEMS OF CHINA AND US ARE HEADING TOWARD OPPOSITE DIRECTIONS

China shocked the whole world by occupying a large portion of the global innovation market. Thus, it is not surprising that it seems to be moving toward and head-to-head battle with US. The Chinese government recognized the importance of issuing patents for software and various forms of technology. Meanwhile, US thought otherwise and was firm in claiming that such products cannot be patented. Still, last October, China’s patent office release new guidelines regarding patent of software and business method inventions. As a result, more foreign companies are seeking to fight their patent cases in Chinese court instead of in the US soils. As a matter of fact, the 1 million patents applied in China accounted for the total patent applications made in the world last year.

Part of China’s innovation include additional investment in scientific structure. In fact, the country is now building the world’s largest telescope and largest supercollider. However, foreign nations are still worried about China’s disregard for non-domestic organizations.

DECREASE IN NUMBER OF PATENT LITIGATION’S DOES NOT REFLECT FIT PATENT REFORM NARRATIVE

In recent years, a number of patent infringement lawsuits have been filed in the US, and some people used this issue as leverage to put forward reforms on the patent system of the country. However, there are some problems when it comes to what statistics have to say. For instance, patent infringement cases might have risen in 2015, but the number decreased come 2016. And the number of cases further declined in the second quarter of 2016.

MISLEADING “PATENT TROLL” IS STILL PREVALENT

“Patent troll” plagued the patent system in 2016 thanks to misleading reports by the media. In fact, some articles without any scientific bases were published, claiming the needs for changes in litigation process concerning US patents.

Meanwhile, a study conducted by the US Federal Trade Commission on business models for patent assertion entities indicated that patent troll labelling poses no help at all given its prejudiced nature. Still, most business publications only saw reports that will reflect their own principles.

Though patent trolls do exist, they are not as rampant as the media claim.

FRUSTRATIONS ON PTAB LEADING TO FEDERAL CIRCUIT

During a hearing by the US Senate Committee on Small Business Entrepreneurship, panel members deemed that Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) is nothing but a killing field for patents as it only deprives legitimate owners of their property rights.

Still, despite the abuses supposedly made by PTAB, some were actions were already taken by the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. It turned out that PTAB improperly used its power in implementing a covered business method review on patent for information management on wireless communication devices.

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Pharmaceutical Patent Expiration 2017

This year, some pharmaceuticals company should be worried about the impending loss in patent protection in a number of medical drugs in the US. Big players, including Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Takeda, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Gilead are about to go on a head-to-head battle with generic rivals who are planning their way to get their hands on large portions of the pharmaceutical industry.

Last year, large pharmaceuticals brought more than $10 billion in earnings in the US by selling drugs for various health conditions, including multiple sclerosis, HIV, erectile dysfunction, and cancer. However, this time, they will face an intense battle with generic companies who are aiming to offer the same kind of medicines at much cheaper prices.

Loss of market exclusivity depends on a number of factors, such as add-on patents and legal settlements. Still, this 2017, a number of drugs will lose their patent as result of patent litigation or settlements.

Topping the list of such loss is the MS med Copaxone 40 by Teva. With US sales of $3.48 billion, the company is currently facing its own battles with generic companies in patent court. Unfortunately, it was off to a bad start given the multiple patent losses that it incurred last year. This 2017, should Teva decide to launch generics, they will have to suffer a $1 billion to $1.3 billion loss in sales.

However, there is still some hope for Teva. The FDA recently released a warning letter that was supposed to delay production of generic version of Copaxone.

Based on statistical data, when a number of generic drugs penetrate the pharmaceutical industry, branded medicines are bound to lose 90% of their sales. And the problem gets worse with drugs that have multiple generic competitions. Large pharmaceutical companies will have to face generic versions that are 80% to 85% cheaper than their branded drugs. One good example is Biosimilar, a starting company who started offering drugs at prices that are 15% cheaper than their branded counterparts.

Another drug that will probably go down the drain is Eli Lilly’s Cialis. From the $1.42 billion in sales in 2016, this drug is expected to only bring in $55 million in earnings in 2022. Though this erectile dysfunction drug is still doing good at the moment, the sales are expected to go winding down in the near future.

Eli Lilly’s Strattera and Effient are also in trouble this year. Strattera currently holds the 10th place in the top 10 sales threshold with $535 million in sales in US. However, by 2022, this number is expected to dwindle thanks to the increasing number of competitors. As a result, Eli Lilly will possibly discontinue promoting the above mentioned drugs, and a number of workers are also in danger of losing their jobs.

Pfizer’s Viagra and Takeda’s multiple myeloma med Velcade both earned $1 billion last year in the US. However, Viagra will now be competing with products coming from Teva and Mylan. By 2022, Viagra’s sales is expected to go down by $188 million.

On the other hand, after losing its patent protection in November, Velcade is expected to face a staggering $1 billion loss in sales. It will have to compete with generic versions manufactured by Fresenius Teva.

Meanwhile, Bristol-Myer’s HIV drug, Sustiva, just lost its patent protection last December. It will possibly face generic versions that will be manufactured by Teva, Emcure, Strides, and Aurobindo.

The next one in grave danger is Novartis’ Sandostatin LAR, a drug for treatment of acromegaly and diarrhea associated with specific tumors. Though it will lose its patent in December, making a generic version of the drug can be quite complex, so generic companies will have to try harder to topple Sandostatin off the market.

The other drugs in the top-10-in-sales list include Novo Nordisk’s growth hormone, Norditropin SimpleXx, Gilead’s hepatitis B/HIV antiviral Viread, and Pfizer’s antidepressant Pristiq.

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