If One Country Does A Bad Job Approving A Patent, Should Other Nations Approve The Same Patent More Quickly?

from the who-needs-thorough-review... dept

It seems that the patent offices in both the US and the UK are going to be starting a little experiment, where patents that are being applied for in both countries can have the review process sped up once the patent is approved in one of the countries. Basically, this "Patent Prosecution Highway" (yes, that's what it's called) is designed to speed up the backlog of patents by allowing examiners in one country to speed up their review by simply relying on the work done in the patent office on the other side of the Atlantic. The UK patent office has already run a similar project with the Japanese patent office. It all sounds nice, and the idea of speeding up the patent granting process could ease some of the current backlog. However, it certainly seems like it could be pretty risky. If a patent is accidentally granted in one country when it shouldn't have been, doesn't that just make it easier to get approved elsewhere? Assuming that more countries get involved in this Patent Prosecution Highway... and companies begin to discover that one country's examiners are a lot more lenient than others, how long will it take for most companies to first apply in the "friendly" country and then use this system to fast track their patents everywhere else? Since patents are granting a rather complete monopoly, doesn't it make sense that they should be thoroughly reviewed before being granted?
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Filed Under: international patents, patents


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  • identicon
    Sanguine Dream, 10 Sep 2007 @ 10:11pm

    So...

    not only are is the patent system in the US out of whack but it will start influencing patent systems across the world. Since I love coming up with, "I'm waiting for the first time..." scenarios here goes:

    I'm waiting for the first time (insert name of large American corporation) rushes to a foreign country to get a patent, use that to speed up the process of getting the same patent in the US, just to find out that someone else in the US already has that patent.

    And oh my god tell me this is not some effort to setup some world wide patent system (that will conveniently be led and dominated by the US patent system).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Disillusioned One, 11 Sep 2007 @ 1:36am

      Re: So...

      And oh my god tell me this is not some effort to setup some world wide patent system (that will conveniently be led and dominated by the US patent system).

      Yep, thats exactly whats going to happen. A COMPLETELY broken patent system that will, instead of screwing over only American.s.. will instead screw over anybody on the planet.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    RandomThoughts, 11 Sep 2007 @ 7:03am

    The granting of a patent does not grant a rather complete monopoly, just a monopoly with what one invents. Thinking small prompts that reasoning. If I have the patent on Lipitor, that doesn't mean I have a monopoly on treatment of high cholesterol, just a monopoly with the drug I came up with. There are other drugs that treat high cholesterol and there are other things that treat high cholesterol, like exercise, eating right, etc.

    Does the patent system have some problems? Of course, should we throw the baby out with the bathwater?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Sep 2007 @ 3:28pm

      Re:

      The granting of a patent does not grant a rather complete monopoly, just a monopoly with what one invents.
      No, a patent doesn't grant a monopoly on everything in the world. Just on what the patent covers. Your implication that somebody was saying otherwise is typical of a turf troll. Every time you open your mouth it reflects badly on your employers.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Monarch, 11 Sep 2007 @ 7:20am

    Quote "Does the patent system have some problems? Of course, should we throw the baby out with the bathwater?"

    YEP! Throw that evil ugly baby in the septic tank with the bathwater!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chris Brand, 11 Sep 2007 @ 9:36am

    Don't the rules differ ?

    So if I get a business model patent in the US, does my application in the UK get fast-tracked, even though business models aren't patentable there ?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2007 @ 10:29am

      Re: Don't the rules differ ?

      Oh I'm sure American big business will find the right person(or people) to pay to make that little problem go away.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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