A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted to the innovator to safeguard his interests for the upcoming two decades or so, when no one else can copy the item or has to pay royalties to do so. The whole framework behind this was to be sure the innovator gets monitory and first mover benefits for his research and development, to make certain individuals have incentives to do more research and technologies keep coming in markets for the welfare of humanity. Little did the creator of patents law knew that it will be used to hinder the development, create monopolies, utilized to backfire/compress or terminate competitors and as a medium to earn riches.
But, it offers degraded to a level when a company can just discuss out extra features and file Mom Inventors for the same. The end result is a lot of companies earning millions and millions not since they manufacture such quality products, simply because they were the first one to think about an idea. Today’s MNCs don’t shy away in extracting exorbitant amount in royalty fees, licensing fees, court claims and settlements. One particular cool product brings about usage of dozens of old patents (making use of their licensing fees) and development of two dozen more patents. A patent is not said to be for the way you scroll content upon an iPhone or the number of image processors in a single Kodak camera. Obviously the patent may be for the part of hardware, the circuit or perhaps the code written. But, if a person else is able to produce similar or better output using their own code, hardware or circuits, that will not make them liable to pay the other company.
The law firms, not understanding any nuances of technologies, blindly approves patents and produces a ground for patent wars.
Its not surprising to sees the world’s largest and oldest manufacturer Nokia, fighting with new niche premium mobile manufacturer Apple within the patent wars. Nokia sued Apple over utilization of signalling techniques, Apple fired back over the utilization of scrollbars and Nokia again filed a whole new lawsuit against Apple’s iPad. The war just like the situation when Kodak sued Apple and Apple countersued Kodak.
This war is perfect for patents, but, it is far from because these companies are hindering innovation or were not able to recover their research and development charges due to the other’s patent infringement. This war is totally based on greed, the greed top earn more and eat each other’s profit share. Finally, the 2 will do an from court agreement, something much like, you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.
Maybe American companies may also learn from these MNCs and begin creating a pile of patents. Like that the large telecoms can just relax and earn royalties. Poor Bharti Airtel, if Mr. Sunil Mittal had filed Product Licensing Inventhelp for caller tunes or missed call alert service, Airtel might have crossed all of their barriers with regards to growth along with been world’s largest telecom company. On the similar lines, if Infosys had patented its global delivery model, it may have easily axed the competing firms and had ruled the offshore IT business. No matter how ridiculously stupid the above ideas sound like, the US patent history is filled with such applications and the majority of them are accepted as well.
So, if we knew the first day day we can not manufacture even board games without paying royalties, we could have patented a dice, that has been used and discussed in India because the times during the Mahabharata.
What’s urgently required is formation of any good panel which does a complete investigation before approving patent and constantly reviews any approved patent. If the company filing the patent, don’t use it within next 3-five-years, the patent becomes null and void, if patent seems irrelevant after 3-five years then it needs to be discarded. The identical should be carried out just in case in which the company filing patent has recovered all research and development expenses associated with patent and all of past unsuccessful trials and has already made handsome profits with the same. When the patent filing company keeps licensing their patents with other companies, the patent should expire much earlier than the 20 year span. Even though among the above rules are materialized, the patent market will likely be a lot more regulated and tznwus won’t be such high exploitation in the Make A New Invention.
So, when RiceTec applied a patent for Basmati rice, the initial question would have been that why they want to use the word Basmati, the premium American and Pakistani rice breed, which is most favored and expensive. Another research would have revealed that their genetic breed has qualities of extra long length, width and fragrance which can be all linked to the traditional Basmati breed harvested near Himalayas. After such findings, they would have been interrogated on the usage of brands ‘Texmati’ and ‘Kasmati’ (name sounding similar to Basmati) labeled to deceive buyers. Once the entire case was made, the business must have been required to stop selling any breed of rice altogether.
But, no above action points is ever going to be used in a land where any corrupt company can lobby the government ruling the land and force them to add new injunctions in law or amend the law inside their favor.