Patent law protects original inventions and processes.

Sociology Index

Patent Law

Patents are issued for four types of inventions such as devices, products, materials, and methods and an invention must be unique and useful for it to be patented. Patent law protects "original inventions and processes" including genetically engineered life forms. The term "patent" originates from the Latin word patere which means "to lay open", meaning make available for public inspection, and the term letters patent, which originally denoted royal decrees granting exclusive rights to certain individuals or businesses. The grant of patent gives an inventor the right to exclude others from exploiting or   making capital out of the invention for a limited period of time.

The first patent was granted by Henry VI in 1449 to a Flemish man a 20 year monopoly on the manufacture of stained glass.

In the seventeenth century America, a few inventors were able to obtain monopolies or patents to produce and sell their inventions. Monopolies were granted by petitioning a colony’s legislature.

The Patent Commission of the U.S. was created in 1790.

A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted by a state to a person for a fixed period of time in exchange for the regulated, public disclosure of certain details of a device, method, process or composition of matter (substance) (known as an invention) which is new, inventive, and useful or industrially applicable.

The exclusive right granted a patentee is the right to prevent others from making, using, selling, offering to sell or importing the claimed invention.

Patent provides the right to exclude others from making, using, selling, offering for sale, or importing the patented invention for the term of the patent. A patent is, in effect, a limited property right that the government offers to inventors in exchange for their agreement to share the details of their inventions with the public.

The philosophy behind the patent system is to encourage inventions by promoting their protection and helping the inventor capitalize.

Patents are enforced through civil lawsuits. Typically, the patent owner will seek monetary compensation for past infringement, and will seek an injunction prohibiting the defendant from engaging in future acts of infringement.

An important limitation on the ability of a patent owner to successfully assert his or her patent in civil litigation is the accused infringer's right to challenge the validity of that patent. Civil courts hearing patent cases can and often do declare patents invalid.

The vast majority of patent rights, however, are not determined through litigation, but are resolved privately through patent licensing. Patent licensing agreements are effectively contracts in which the patent owner (the licensor) agrees not to sue the licensee for infringement of the licensor's patent rights.

Justifications for granting patents:

Patent rights create an incentive for companies to develop workarounds to patented inventions, thereby creating improved or alternative technologies that might not otherwise have been developed.

Patents facilitate and encourage disclosure of innovations into the public domain for the common good. Awarding patents generally makes the details of new technology publicly available, for exploitation by anyone after patent protection ends, or for further improvement by other inventors. Furthermore, when a patent's term has expired, the public record ensures that the patentee's idea is not lost to humanity.

Patents incentivize economically efficient research and development. Without patent protection, corporations would be much more conservative about the R&D investments they made, as third parties would be free to exploit any developments. This is more like the basic idea underlying traditional property rights: why build a house if another person could freely occupy it?

Books On Patent Law

Patents And the Federal Circuit 7th edition by Robert L. Harmon.

A Treatise On The Law Of Patents For Useful Inventions: As Enacted And Administered In The United States Of America by George Ticknor Curtis

Patent It Yourself 11th edition
by David Pressman

INTERNATIONAL PATENT LAW IS OBSOLETE by Anna MANCINI
Download Description

The Patent Guidebook American Bar Association by John Pienkos

Biotechnological Inventions: Moral Restraints And Patent Law by Oliver Mills

Patent Law For Scientists and Engineers by Avery N. Goldstein
technical solution.

Electronic and Software Patents: Law and Practice,
by Steven W. Lundberg (Editor), Stephen C. Durant (Editor), Ann M. Mccrackin (Editor)

The Complete Patent Kit (Legal Survival Guides) (Paperback) Bk&CD-Rom edition   by James Rogers

Patent Pending In 24 Hours by Richard Stim, David Pressman
Ron Docie, Sr., author of The Inventor's Bible

Patent Law Essentials : A Concise Guide - by Alan L. Durham

Principles of Patent Law: Cases and Materials (University Casebook Series)
by Craig Allen Nard, Herbert F. Schwartz, Pauline Newman, Donald S. Chisum (Editor)

International Patent Law: Winning Legal Strategies for Registration, Litigation & Other Intricacies of Patent Law in All Major Markets
by Aspatore Books Staff; aspatore.com

Principles Of Patent Law by Roger E. Schechter, John R. Thomas.

Rajrathnam V P, Attorney/Advocate and IPR Consultant - rajrathnamvp@yahoo.co.in