Patent - How Well Protected Are The Patent Holders?

By Raveendran Nambyar

Intellectual property laws vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. And it is such that the acquisition, registration or enforcement of the rights must be pursued or obtained separately in each territory of interest. Intellectual property in law is a general term for various legal entitlements. The holder of this legal entitlement is generally entitled to exercise various exclusive rights.

Intellectual property laws are designed to protect different forms of subject matter, in this case a Patent. A patent may be granted for a new, useful, and non-obvious invention, and gives the patent holder an exclusive right to commercially exploit the invention for a certain period of time, typically 20 years from the filing date of a patent application. Patents, trademarks, and designs rights are sometimes collectively known as industrial property, as they are typically created and used for industrial or commercial purposes.

Various schools of thought are critical of the term “intellectual property”. Some characterise it as intellectual protectionism. From the perspective of economics, intellectual property is a temporary monopoly on the use or exploitation of that Patent, supported by legal enforcement mechanisms.

There is a debate going on every where that intellectual property laws truly operate to confer the stated public benefits, and whether the protection they are said to provide is appropriate in the context of innovation derived from such things as traditional knowledge and folklore, and patents for software and business methods. Manifestations of this controversy can be seen in the way different jurisdictions decide whether to grant intellectual property protection in relation to subject matter of this kind, and the divide on issues of the role and scope of intellectual property laws.

Most exclusive rights are the right to sue an infringer, which has the effect that people will approach the patent holder for permission to perform the acts to which the patent holder has exclusive right.

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