What might be the greatest strengths of the patent system in its modern form, and what sectors of society do these strengths benefit? What might be the greatest costs of the patent system in its modern form, and what sectors of society bears these costs? What are some of the alternatives to the patent system and, briefly, how might they operate?

Authors Avatar by dxb625 (student)

The patent controversy[1] goes hand in hand with the elementary discussions with regard to the paradox of competition intervention[2] in the field of competition law, i.e. how much regulations to the free competition in a market is beneficial for the society in order to provide for a desirable framework for fostering welfare and growth, and at what costs does a regulation of competition in form of monopoly that compels other competitors from working an invention still comes under the general paradigm for patent protection for inventors[3] in order to provide economic prosperity by technological progress to society by granting incentives to technical innovations. In order to elaborate the patent controversy it is therefore necessary to examine the advantages and the disadvantages as well as the alternatives to the modern patent system are illustrated.

From the general paradigm to justify the creation of patent rights[4], the greatest strengths of the patent system in its modern form becomes obvious as it grants, for a limited term, an exclusive rights to inventions which mostly are the fruits of investments into research and development[5] Notwithstanding the fact that to keep up this paradigm of justification, the public policy sets out the tenor that reaping where nothing was sown harmfully affects the promotion of technological, industrial and cultural development of society[6], it can be also shown that disclosure of technology and technology exchange efficiently helped countries to develop. But how does a modern patent system provide benefits for the greater good of nation? A response thereto can be derived from the findings of the first president of the Japanese Patent Office who admitted that it was the patent system which made the US industry superior, and led to the reason to implement a modern patent system in Japan during the Meji-era[7]. With the introduction of a comprehensive patent system in 1900s, the disclosure of foreign technology was established. Furthermore, thereon based domestic inventions were able to be sufficiently protected. These efforts provided the necessary assistance to establish a fundamental economic development, and exaggerated by a technological exchange and respective entrepreneurship may lead to economic growth and rising living standards[8]. Thence, taking the above example the sectors of society which benefited are besides the private sectors of all industrial and service related businesses, the public welfare sector and the governmental as well as academia sector, which profited greatly with raise of the private sectors[9]. This ideal image of the patent system on a national base however gets tainted by the fact that in reality the international beneficiaries of modern patent systems are limited to industrial power houses such as Japan, the USA, Germany and Korea which shared a 73 percent of PCT grants in 2006[10] and their national champions in the respective flagship industries that dominate the global market[11]. At first glance, this leaves developing countries as the losers of modern patent systems[12].

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Thence, there are also costs which come with the introduction of modern patent systems. Besides the patent attorney’s and official fees for drafting, the prosecution of patent application, the annuities after grant which impose a remunerable hindrance to private inventors to get lucky and small entities to enter the market in the first place[13], the patent filing domination by means cluster applications to fence off technological fields in favor of the incumbent global champions as well as malicious ligation attacks from private equity powered patent trolls to obtain their share of the cake[14] impose the greatest costs and are nowadays ...

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