Journal Article

Patent thickets: a paper for the European Patent Office Economic and Scientific Advisory Board meeting

Robin Jacob

in Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice

Volume 8, issue 3, pages 203-206
Published in print March 2013 | ISSN: 1747-1532
Published online March 2013 | e-ISSN: 1747-1540 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jiplp/jps213
Patent thickets: a paper for the European Patent Office Economic and Scientific Advisory Board meeting

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The Rt Hon Sir Robin Jacob is the Hugh Laddie Professor of Intellectual Property Law at University College London and Director of IBIL (the Institute of Brand and Innovation Law). He is a former Queen's Counsel, Judge of the High Court and of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales. He is also an arbitrator and consultant in relation to international intellectual property matters.

In recent years economists particularly have become exercised by what they perceive as a problem with the current patent system, a problem characterized by the expression ‘patent thickets’.

This article seeks to put the so-called problem into its real context of patents and patent applications.

It suggests that the ‘problem’ is not new and forms part of the general costs of patent compliance; that there is a real distinction to be made between ‘thickets’ of valid patents and invalid patents; and that insofar as there is a problem, adjustment of other parts of the system such as the levels of fees is the way forward.

Journal Article.  2826 words. 

Subjects: Arbitration ; Intellectual Property Law

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