A good patent is becoming increasingly harder to find.
In the current issue of WIPO Magazine my article, “The puzzle that is patent quality,” looks at how the importance, market value and reliability of a patent can vary with perspective, as well as its right to exist.
Patent quality may start with validity but it does not end there.
“[With patents] the discussion is typically about validity, not the quality of an invention or its market value,” I write. “When someone speaks of a ‘good’ patent they could be referring to one or more characteristics: the patent’s likelihood of being upheld if enforced (litigated), the importance of the invention it excludes others from practicing; or its relative value (in terms of protecting profit margins or generating direct licensing revenue) to a particular holder at a given time.”
Defining a patent that is worthy of scrutiny, and provides a degree of certainty, is no easy feat.
More work is needed on the legal and market implications of patent quality, as is a better system for determining patent quality and value earlier and more efficiently for a broader range of technologies. The uncertainty associated with patents costs companies billions and dissuades innovation and investment.
The August issue of WIPO Magazine is available here. My piece begins on p. 16.
For the slightly shorter web version go here.
Image source: iplawleaders.com; wipo.int.