Conflicting Interests in Patent System Reform
The Patent Reform Bill details released recently ( March 4, 2010 Press Release , Proposed Amendments ) as explained at http://truereform.piausa.org/ and http://www.ip-watch.org/weblog/2010/03/04/new-senate-patent-reform-bill-details-released/ ) causes debate.
The Professional Inventors Alliance points at large companies as the principal proponents of this and earlier Patent Reform Bills. The Patent Reform Bill threatens American Innovation, especially to the role in it of small inventors, individuals and small businesses ( http://www.piausa.org/).
To Reform or Not To Reform?
Though rejecting the proposed reforms, the Alliance calls for some changes to the patent system from a small entity perspective.
The hurdles to achieving a new balance, via reform, include the aligning of the perspectives of different stakeholders.
Reconciling via Stakeholder Mapping in a Multi-Level Perspective
Adopting the levels macro, meso, micro and pico, as explained in Target Groups, the patent system serves different functions at each of these levels.
Changes in the techno-economic environment of the patent system imply different kinds of pressures at those levels. Some broad pressures are indicated in the figure.
A patent system embodies cross-cutting institutional arrangements.
Prior to its reform, an open and transparent stakeholder consultation is desirable.1
A Patent Reform Bill could be an outcome of such a collaborative therapeutics initiative in which the further approach to stakeholder-onboarding would follow the insights of (government) programme management.2
Beyond the USA: Patents in the Techno Globe
Moving then to the global international landscape, additional interests have been articulated.
A Perspective from Africa
IPR and Standards
There is a question on this topic at LinkedIn: IPR and standards: can one reconcile opposing viewpoints?
See comments on the Review of the European Standardisation System (at www.atria.us).
Global Patent Pools
Knowledge that is no longer protected by IPR is in the public domain. For this reason the boundary between the knowledge commons and intellectual property matters to the knowledge provide, as explained at knowledge market (failures).
For one possible justification for global patent pools, see UN-climate-report-envisions-modified-trips-as-governments-seek-progress (post) and Informal-UN-climate-talks-indicate-continued-divergence-on-ip-issues (post). The importance of TRIPS (Trade Related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) is addressed in publications such as World Economic and Social Survey 2009.
Following the systematic analysis of the knowledge commons in sustainable development, Global Patent Pools deserve attention as a promissing and feasible mechanism for accelerating innovation on environmentally sound technologies.
Work in Progress
Kindly add relevant documents to the IPR Reform collection.