Patent protection is the strongest form of intellectual property protection with a short-term exclusive monopoly grant to the owner to exclude others from any implementation of the protected work.
IntroductionIntellectual Property (IP) is generally characterized as non-physical property that is the product of original thought and IP Rights (IPRs) surround the control of physical manifestations or expressions of ideas. Content-creators* interest in their ideas is protected by IP law by assigning and enforcing legal rights to produce and control physical instantiations of those ideas.
HistoryThe Anglo-American and European legal and moral conceptions of intellectual property have their beginnings in 500 BCE monopolies for creating particular culinary delights granted in the Greek colony of Sybaris. From Roman times, there were many franchises, privileges, and royal favors granted surrounding the rights to intellectual works. Franchises and royal favors restrict access to intellectual works already in the public domain, thus these decrees take something from the people. An inventor, on the other hand, deprives the public of nothing that existed prior to the act of invention . One of the first statutes in the Republic of Florence that protected authors' rights that not only recognized the rights of authors and inventors to the products of their intellectual efforts, but also built in an incentive mechanism that became a prominent feature of Anglo-American intellectual property protection, and Filippo Brunelleschi, a famous architect, was issued such a patent monopoly on June 19, 1421, which was the first and last patent under that statue. The basis of the first lasting patent institution of intellectual property protection system was sophisticated that recognized the rights of inventors with an incentive mechanism, compensation for infringement established, and a term limit on inventors' rights was imposed, found in a 1474 statute of the Venetian Republic, which appeared 150 years before England's Statute of Monopolies. American institutions of intellectual property protection are based on the English system that began with the Statute of Monopolies (1624) and the Statute of Anne (1710). The Statute of Monopolies granted fourteen-year monopolies to authors and inventors and ended the practice of granting rights to *non-original/new* ideas or works already in the public domain.
PatentPatent protection is the strongest form of intellectual property protection with a short term exclusive monopoly grant to the owner to exclude others from any implementation of the protected work (35 USC *101 (1988) and 35 USC *154(a)(2)). The subject matter of patent law is new, non-obvious, and useful processes, machines, articles of manufacture, or compositions of matter, recognized by the patent law as inventions and categorized into three types: 1) Utility patents protect any new, useful, and nonobvious process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, as well as any new and useful improvement thereof. 2) Design patents protect any new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture. 3) Plant patents that protect the subject matter of any new variety of plant.
The patent rights are exclusionary in nature conferring a right to exclude others from making, using, or selling the invention regardless of independent creation, and does not guarantee a right to make, use. sell, or offer to sell the invention, unlike the copyright protection.
References and Notes1. Bugbee, Genesis of American Patent and Copyright Law, Washington, DC: Public Affairs Press (1967); Intellectual Property, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (22 September 2014).
2. A short term of twenty years for a utility/plant patent and 15 years for a design patent.
3. To the owner/applicant, not to the inventor (contrary to the Constitution of US), under AIA that harmonizes the patent law with the rest of the world, under various conventions and treaties, such PCT, Paris Convention, GATT, TRIPs, etc., under the purview of the WTO.