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?
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: international patents, patents


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. 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.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Discord

The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...

Loading...
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.