Why it’s time to open up our patent system - The Washington Post

peter.suber's bookmarks 2018-01-12


"One year ago, Elon Musk announced that Tesla would dismantle barriers to the use of its technology by “open sourcing” its patents and making them available for all acting in good faith to use. Because patents are usually used to close, not open, doors to competitors, the move created confusion and criticism.

But now, it also appears to have heralded a quiet revolution....

If an inventor wants to open her technology for others to innovate without worrying about permissions, there is no way to guarantee that the Patent Office will not issue a patent over the technology to a later applicant....

The patent system should pay more attention to supporting the rights of patentees to enable rather than to forbid, others from practicing patentable inventions, and to sell or waive certain patent rights or rights among certain populations. For example, if a patent holder wants to retain only rights to exclude larger competitors, or to waive all but defensive rights, enabling free use by green, humanitarian, educational, or start-up projects, for examples, it should be possible to do so. But presently, there are no easy ways to do so....

In the United States we too should explore the idea of creating one or more “open” patent options that would allow inventors to share their technology broadly while still retaining rights, for example, to enforce patents for defensive uses. We should make it easier to waive and dedicate patent rights to the public...."



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Open Access Tracking Project (OATP) » peter.suber's bookmarks


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Date tagged:

01/12/2018, 13:58

Date published:

01/12/2018, 08:58