Beyond ‘Patent Quality’: Basic Concepts of the Patent System Need To Be Reviewed
By Carlos M. Correa
A proposal has been made to initiate a debate on ‘patent quality’ at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The expression ‘patent quality’ ambiguously alludes to a growing problem, faced in both developed and developing countries alike: the overwhelming majority of patents are applied for and granted over incremental developments on existing technologies. Although the patent system is supposed to reward inventiveness, in many cases patents cover minor improvements or trivial ideas.