Journal Article

Duration of patent protection: does one size fit all?

Andrew F. Christie and Fiona Rotstein

in Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice

Volume 3, issue 6, pages 402-408
Published in print June 2008 | ISSN: 1747-1532
Published online April 2008 | e-ISSN: 1747-1540 | DOI:
Duration of patent protection: does one size fit all?

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Arbitration
  • Intellectual Property Law


Show Summary Details


Legal context

Consistent with the TRIPs Agreement, the patent system has a ‘one size’ approach to duration of protection, in that all inventions are entitled to the same maximum period of grant: 20 years. This paper seeks to answer the question whether this ‘one size’ approach fits all inventions.

Key points

The article determines if the present system of patent protection is within the bounds of what might be considered optimal, when account is taken of the economic theory on duration, the real world practices of patentees regarding renewal of their patents, and the legal features of the current system. It finds that the system on duration of patent protection currently in operation matches closely to what would be considered optimal.

Practical significance

These considerations are relevant to practitioners advising their clients on duration of protection and renewal rates, and to policy makers concerned with optimizing the patent system.

Keywords: The patent system of all developed countries has the same fixed maximum duration of protection.; The authors determine what is the optimum duration of patent protection and then compare that optimum duration with the duration of protection that the current patent system provides.; The article considers the strategic issues and legal considerations that face patentees in theory and in practice to access the adequacy of the current one size system of patent protection.

Journal Article.  4262 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Arbitration ; Intellectual Property Law

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.