Monday, September 10, 2007

Why USA has a Different Patent System?

Patents are governed by national laws. We follow WIPO, JPO and EPO recommendation to acknowledge 'first to file' patent. However, USPTO acknowledge 'first to invent' inventors. I took some time to understand why US has a different patent system until I read 'America's Different Patent System: the Reason US Outperforms the World' by Robert Rines. Rines defended the need to acknowledge the 'first to invent' principle by citing that patent laws are created to protect and acknowledge inventors, particularly individual inventors. The proposed harmonization of patent laws protect the interest of large corporations but put individual inventors and university inventors at a disadvantage. American patent history and statistics are cited in the report to support his stand. US gain the advantage of provisional patent so that the inventors can refine their patent application. He claims that his counterpart in Japan and Europe has premature patent application to fulfill the 'first to file' criteria. I acknowledge that the same situation exist in Malaysia. I have individual inventors telling me that they can't capitalize their patent because the patent only has concepts to build prototype.