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.