A patent is a set of exclusive rights granted to the innovator to guard his interests for the next twenty years or so, when no one else can copy the product or has to pay royalties to do so. The complete framework behind this was to be sure the innovator gets monitory and first mover advantages for his research and development, to ensure individuals have incentives to do more research and new 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 expansion, create monopolies, used to backfire/compress or terminate competitors and as a medium to earn riches.
But, it provides degraded to a level when a company can just discuss out extra features and file A New Invention for the very same. The effect is many companies earning millions and millions not because they manufacture such quality products, simply because these people were the first one to think of an idea. Today’s MNCs don’t shy away in extracting exorbitant amount in royalty fees, licensing fees, court claims and settlements. Just one new product leads to utilization of dozens of old patents (using their licensing fees) and introduction of two dozen more patents. A patent is not said to be for how you will scroll content on an iPhone or the quantity of image processors inside a single Kodak camera. Obviously the patent can be for the piece of hardware, the circuit or the code written. But, if someone else has the capacity to produce similar or better output with their own code, hardware or circuits, that fails to get them to prone to pay the other company.
The law firms, not understanding any nuances of technologies, blindly approves patents and creates 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 usage of signalling techniques, Apple fired back over the usage of scrollbars and Nokia again filed a new lawsuit against Apple’s iPad. The war just like the situation when Kodak sued Apple and Apple countersued Kodak.
This war is made for patents, but, it is not as these companies are hindering innovation or were unable to recover their research and development charges because of 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, both will do an out of court agreement, something similar to, you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.
Maybe American companies could also learn from these MNCs and start constructing a pile of patents. This way the large telecoms can just sit back and earn royalties. Poor Bharti Airtel, if Mr. Sunil Mittal had filed Inventhelp for caller tunes or missed call alert service, Airtel might have crossed all their barriers in terms of growth and had been world’s largest telecom company. On the similar lines, if Infosys had patented its global delivery model, it could have easily axed the competing firms along with ruled the offshore IT business. Regardless of how ridiculously stupid the above ideas seem like, the usa patent history is filled with such applications and the majority of them are accepted too.
So, when we knew day 1 day we are able to not manufacture even board games without having to pay royalties, we could have patented a dice, that has been used and discussed in India since the times during Mahabharata.
What’s urgently required is formation of any good panel which does a thorough investigation before approving patent and constantly reviews any approved patent. In the event the company filing the patent, don’t utilize it within next 3-5 years, the patent becomes null and void, if patent seems irrelevant after 3-5 years then it ought to be discarded. The identical ought to be done in the event where the company filing patent has recovered all research and development expenses related to patent and all past unsuccessful trials and it has already made handsome profits with the exact same. When the patent filing company keeps licensing their patents to many 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 far more regulated and tznwus won’t be such high exploitation in the Invent Help Tech.
So, when RiceTec applied a patent for Basmati rice, the first question could have been that why they would like to utilize the word Basmati, the premium American and Pakistani rice breed, which can be most widely used and dear. An additional research might have revealed that their genetic breed has qualities of extra long length, width and fragrance that are all associated with the traditional Basmati breed harvested near Himalayas. After such findings, they could have been interrogated on the utilization of brands ‘Texmati’ and ‘Kasmati’ (name sounding much like Basmati) labeled to deceive buyers. Once the entire case was made, the company must have been compelled to stop selling any breed of rice altogether.
But, no above action points is ever going to be utilized in a land where any corrupt company can lobby the federal government ruling the land and force those to add new injunctions in law or amend what the law states in their favor.