Chapter

Foundations of the Patent System

in The Patent Crisis and How the Courts Can Solve It

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780226080611
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226080635 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226080635.003.0002
Foundations of the Patent System

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This chapter presents a brief overview of the legal and textual characteristics of the patents, and the institutions involved in granting and enforcing them. It primarily concentrates on the United States patent system. The idea behind the patent system is simple: invention is a “public good” because it is expensive to invent but cheap to copy those inventions. Patents represent a significant departure from the norm of market competition. Their application is a highly specialized and stylized document conforming to the rules set out by the Patent Office. The heart of the patent application is actually found at the end of the document: the claims. The international treaty on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) has gone far toward standardizing national patents. The treaty specifies certain minimum standards for patent protection by signatory nations. It also allows certain exceptions and delayed implementation of patent standards for less developed nations.

Keywords: United States patent system; market competition; Patent Office; TRIPS; patent protection

Chapter.  5980 words. 

Subjects: Intellectual Property Law

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