1.clearly evident to the mind"his opposition to slavery was unmistakable"
2.clearly revealed to the mind or the senses or judgment"the effects of the drought are apparent to anyone who sees the parched fields" "evident hostility" "manifest disapproval" "patent advantages" "made his meaning plain" "it is plain that he ..."
3.(of a bodily tube or passageway) open; affording free passage"patent ductus arteriosus"
1.a document granting an inventor sole rights to an invention
2.an official document granting a right or privilege
1.make open to sight or notice"His behavior has patented an embarrassing fact about him"
2.obtain a patent for"Should I patent this invention?"
3.grant rights to; grant a patent for
PatentPat"ent (păt"ent or pāt"ent), a. [L. patens, -entis, p. pr. of patere to be open: cf. F. patent. Cf. Fathom.]
1. (Oftener pronounced pāt"ent in this sense) Open; expanded; evident; apparent; unconcealed; manifest; public; conspicuous.
He had received instructions, both patent and secret. Motley.
2. Open to public perusal; -- said of a document conferring some right or privilege; as, letters patent. See Letters patent, under 3d Letter.
3. Appropriated or protected by letters patent; secured by official authority to the exclusive possession, control, and disposal of some person or party; patented; as, a patent right; patent medicines.
Madder . . . in King Charles the First's time, was made a patent commodity. Mortimer.
4. (Bot.) Spreading; forming a nearly right angle with the steam or branch; as, a patent leaf.
Patent leather, a varnished or lacquered leather, used for boots and shoes, and in carriage and harness work. -- Patent office, a government bureau for the examination of inventions and the granting of patents. -- Patent right. (a) The exclusive right to an invention, and the control of its manufacture. (b) (Law) The right, granted by the sovereign, of exclusive control of some business of manufacture, or of the sale of certain articles, or of certain offices or prerogatives. -- Patent rolls, the registers, or records, of patents.
PatentPat"ent, n. [Cf. F. patente. See Patent, a.]
1. A letter patent, or letters patent; an official document, issued by a sovereign power, conferring a right or privilege on some person or party. Specifically: (a) A writing securing to an invention. (b) A document making a grant and conveyance of public lands.
Four other gentlemen of quality remained mentioned in that patent. Fuller.
☞ In the United States, by the act of 1870, patents for inventions are issued for seventeen years, without the privilege of renewal except by act of Congress.
2. The right or privilege conferred by such a document; hence, figuratively, a right, privilege, or license of the nature of a patent.
If you are so fond over her iniquity, give her patent to offend. Shak.
PatentPat"ent, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Patented; p. pr. & vb. n. Patenting.] To grant by patent; to make the subject of a patent; to secure or protect by patent; as, to patent an invention; to patent public lands.
Ductus Arteriosus, Patent • European patent • Foramen Ovale, Patent • Medicines, Patent • Patent Foramen Ovale • Patent Medicines • Patent Office • Patent Oval Foramen • Patent and Trademark Office Database • Patent ductus Botallo • Patent ductus arteriosus • Patent or persistent foramen ovale • Patent or persistent ostium secundum defect (type II) • Patent urachus • application for patent • letters patent • patent application • patent ductus arteriosus • patent infringement • patent law • patent leather • patent leather shoes • patent log • patent medicine • patent of improvement • patent of invention • patent right • patent still • patent system
Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation • Amendments under the European Patent Convention • Benz Patent Motorwagen • Biological patent • Black patent • Black-patent • Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences • Canadian patent law • Catch and release (patent) • Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys • Cheesecocks Patent • Chemical patent • Chinese patent medicine • Claim (patent) • Claims under the European Patent Convention • Coalition for 21st Century Patent Reform • Coalition for Patent Fairness • Court of customs and patent appeals • Defensive patent aggregation • Deutsches Patent- und Markenamt • Disclaimer (patent) • Disclosure of the invention under the European Patent Convention • Drug Price Competition and Patent Term Restoration Act • EU Patent • Eolas patent • Essential patent • Eurasian Patent Convention • European Patent Bulletin • European Patent Convention • European Patent Institute • European Patent Judges' Symposium • European Patent Office • European Patent Office Reports • European Patent Organisation • European Patent Register • European Round Table on Patent Practice • European patent law • F-term (patent law) • GCC Patent Office • Gene patent • General Patent Corporation • Grant procedure before the European Patent Office • Great Nine Partners Patent • Guidelines for Examination in the European Patent Office • H.R. 2795, the Patent Reform Act of 2005 • Hardenbergh patent • History of United States patent law • History of patent law • Holland Patent Central High School • Holland Patent High School • Holland Patent, NY • Holland Patent, New York • Hutchinson Patent Stopper • Indian Patent Office • International Patent Classification • Inventive step under the European Patent Convention • Inventor (U.S. patent law) • Inventor (patent) • Japan Patent Office • Japanese patent law • John Moore (patent) • Kerr's Patent Revolver • Kokoku (patent law) • Letters Patent establishing the Province of South Australia • Letters patent • Limitation and revocation procedures before the European Patent Office • Lindesay Patent Rural Historic District • Lindesay Patent Rural Historic District (Boundary Increase) • List of United States patent law cases • List of decisions and opinions of the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office • List of parties to international patent treaties • List of patent attorneys and agents • List of patent case law • List of patent legal concepts • List of patent related topics • List of people associated with patent law • List of top United States patent recipients • Little Nine Partners Patent • Lygonia Patent • Maintenance fee (patent) • Mann's Patent Steam Cart and Wagon Company • Manual of Patent Examining Procedure • Manual of Patent Office Practice • Medical patent • National Association of Patent Practitioners • Netherlands Patent Office • Nine Partners Patent • Non-provisional patent application • Nordic Patent Institute • Offensive patent aggregation • Official Journal of the European Patent Office • Old Patent Office Building • Open Patent Alliance • Open patent • Patent (disambiguation) • Patent Act • Patent Act (Canada) • Patent Act of 1790 • Patent Act of 1836 • Patent Act of 1922 • Patent Bending • Patent Blue V • Patent Cliff • Patent Commons • Patent Cooperation Treaty • Patent Information News • Patent Lens • Patent Nut and Bolt Company • Patent Ochsner • Patent Office Professional Association • Patent Pending (Arthur C Clarke short story) • Patent Pending (album) • Patent Pending (band) • Patent Prosecution Highway • Patent Reform Act • Patent Reform Act of 2005 • Patent Reform Act of 2007 • Patent Rolls • Patent Shaft • Patent World • Patent aggregation • Patent ambush • Patent and Copyright Clause • Patent and Trademark Office • Patent and Trademark Office Society • Patent application • Patent attorney • Patent bet • Patent bureau • Patent caveat • Patent classification • Patent drawing • Patent ductus arteriosus • Patent encumbrance of large automotive NiMH batteries • Patent engineer • Patent examiner • Patent freedom • Patent holding company • Patent infringement • Patent infringement under United Kingdom law • Patent infringement under United States law • Patent law of the European Union • Patent leather • Patent license • Patent medicine • Patent model • Patent of Toleration • Patent of precedence • Patent offices in Europe • Patent pirate • Patent pool • Patent portfolio • Patent reissue • Patent safe • Patent shark • Patent slip • Patent theatre • Patent thicket • Patent troll • Patent watch • Patent-leather • Peer-to-Patent • Plant Patent Act of 1930 • Printed matter (patent law) • Printing patent • Public Patent Foundation • Public participation in patent examination • Ralf Sieckmann v Deutsches Patent und Markenamt • Red Patent Leather • Representation before the European Patent Office • Robot Patent • Romanian patent law • Serfdom Patent (1781) • Sheffield Patent • Software Patent Institute • Software patent • Software patents under United Kingdom patent law • Software patents under the European Patent Convention • South African patent system • Standing Advisory Committee before the European Patent Office • Strasbourg Agreement Concerning the International Patent Classification • Submarine patent • Swedish Patent and Registration Office • Tax patent • Term of patent • The Patent Leather Kid • The Patent and Designs Act 1911 • The United States Patent Association • The Wright brothers patent war • Transfer (patent) • Triadic patent • United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals • United States Patent Classification • United States patent law • Unity of invention under the European Patent Convention • Utility (patent) • Waldo Patent • X-Patent • Yorkshire Patent Steam Wagon Co.
qui prouve, atteste qqch (fr)[Classe]
qualificatif d'un récit (fr)[DomaineDescription]
autorisation officielle (fr)[Classe]
chose valide (fr)[ClasseParExt.]
levy; taxation; tax[Classe]
ce qui peut prouver (fr)[Classe]
(trader; dealer; tradesman; tradeswoman; trafficker; bargainer; monger; merchant), (do business), (seller; marketer; vender; vendor; trafficker), (offer), (commercial undertaking; business enterprise; business firm; commercial firm; trading firm; commercial enterprise), (make a good deal)[Thème]
(trader; dealer; tradesman; tradeswoman; trafficker; bargainer; monger; merchant), (do business), (seller; marketer; vender; vendor; trafficker), (offer), (commercial undertaking; business enterprise; business firm; commercial firm; trading firm; commercial enterprise), (make a good deal)[termes liés]
notaire (fr)[termes liés]
procédure judiciaire (fr)[DomaineCollocation]
patent (v. tr.)
change; alter; modify[ClasseHyper.]
change - adjustment, alteration, change, changing, edit, modification, variation - change - alteration, change, modification, transformation - changer, modifier - change - change - alterable - editable, modifiable - patent - noticeable - unnoticeable - noticeable, obtrusive - obvious - apparent, evident, manifest, obvious, patent, plain, unmistakable - unobvious - detectable, discernible, noticeable - noticeable[Dérivé]
patent (v. tr.)
patent (v. tr.)
enter, put down, record, register - document, papers, written document - act, deed, instrument, legal document, legal instrument, official document, official paper - artificer, discoverer, inventor[Hyper.]
patent (v. tr.)
(patents for inventions)
|By region / country|
A patent ( // or //) is a form of intellectual property. It consists of a set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or their assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for the public disclosure of an invention.
The procedure for granting patents, the requirements placed on the patentee, and the extent of the exclusive rights vary widely between countries according to national laws and international agreements. Typically, however, a patent application must include one or more claims defining the invention which must meet the relevant patentability requirements such as novelty and non-obviousness. The exclusive right granted to a patentee in most countries is the right to prevent others from making, using, selling, or distributing the patented invention without permission.
Under the World Trade Organization's (WTO) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, patents should be available in WTO member states for any invention, in all fields of technology, and the term of protection available should be a minimum of twenty years. In many countries, certain subject areas are excluded from patents, such as business methods and computer programs.
The word patent originates from the Latin patere, which means "to lay open" (i.e., to make available for public inspection). More directly, it is a shortened version of the term letters patent, which was a royal decree granting exclusive rights to a person, predating the modern patent system. Similar grants included land patents, which were land grants by early state governments in the USA, and printing patents, a precursor of modern copyright.
In modern usage, the term patent usually refers to the right granted to anyone who invents any new, useful, and non-obvious process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter. Some other types of intellectual property rights are also referred to as patents in some jurisdictions: industrial design rights are called design patents in the US, plant breeders' rights are sometimes called plant patents, and utility models and Gebrauchsmuster are sometimes called petty patents or innovation patents. The additional qualification utility patent is sometimes used (primarily in the US) to distinguish the primary meaning from these other types of patents.
In 500 BC, in the Greek city of Sybaris (located in what is now southern Italy), "encouragement was held out to all who should discover any new refinement in luxury, the profits arising from which were secured to the inventor by patent for the space of a year."
The Florentine architect Filippo Brunelleschi received a three-year patent for a barge with hoisting gear, that carried marble along the Arno River in 1421. In 1449, King Henry VI granted the first English patent with a license of 20 years to John of Utynam for introducing the making of colored glass to England.
Patents in the modern sense originated in 1474, when the Republic of Venice enacted a decree that new and inventive devices, once put into practice, had to be communicated to the Republic to obtain the right to prevent others from using them.
England followed with the Statute of Monopolies in 1624 under King James I, which declared that patents could only be granted for "projects of new invention." During the reign of Queen Anne (1702–14), the lawyers of the English Court developed the requirement that a written description of the invention must be submitted. The patent systems in many other countries, including Australia, are based on British law and can be traced back to the Statute of Monopolies.
In France, patents were granted by the monarchy and by other institutions like the "Maison du Roi". The Academy examined novelty. Examinations were generally done in secret with no requirement to publish a description of the invention. Actual use of the invention was deemed adequate disclosure to the public. The modern French patent system was created during the Revolution in 1791. Patents were granted without examination since inventor's right was considered as a natural one 
In the United States, during the so-called colonial period and Articles of Confederation years (1778–89), several states adopted patent systems of their own. The first Congress adopted a Patent Act, in 1790, and the first patent was issued under this Act on July 31, 1790 (to Samuel Hopkins of Vermont for a potash production technique).
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A patent is not a right to practice or use the invention. Rather, a patent provides the right to exclude others from making, using, selling, offering for sale, or importing the patented invention for the term of the patent, which is usually 20 years from the filing date subject to the payment of maintenance fees. A patent is, in effect, a limited property right that the government offers to inventors in exchange for their agreement to share the details of their inventions with the public. Like any other property right, it may be sold, licensed, mortgaged, assigned or transferred, given away, or simply abandoned.
The rights conveyed by a patent vary country-by-country. For example, in the United States, a patent covers research, except "purely philosophical" inquiry. A U.S. patent is infringed by any "making" of the invention, even a making that goes toward development of a new invention—which may itself become subject of a patent.
A patent being an exclusionary right does not, however, necessarily give the owner of the patent the right to exploit the patent. For example, many inventions are improvements of prior inventions that may still be covered by someone else's patent. If an inventor takes an existing, patented mouse trap design, adds a new feature to make an improved mouse trap, and obtains a patent on the improvement, he or she can only legally build his or her improved mouse trap with permission from the patent holder of the original mouse trap, assuming the original patent is still in force. On the other hand, the owner of the improved mouse trap patent can exclude the original patent owner from using the improvement.
Some countries have "working provisions" that require the invention be exploited in the jurisdiction it covers. Consequences of not working an invention vary from one country to another, ranging from revocation of the patent rights to the awarding of a compulsory license awarded by the courts to a party wishing to exploit a patented invention. The patentee has the opportunity to challenge the revocation or license, but is usually required to provide evidence that the reasonable requirements of the public have been met by the working of invention.
Patents can generally only be enforced through civil lawsuits (for example, for a U.S. patent, by an action for patent infringement in a United States federal court), although some countries (such as France and Austria) have criminal penalties for wanton infringement. Typically, the patent owner will seek monetary compensation for past infringement, and will seek an injunction prohibiting the defendant from engaging in future acts of infringement. To prove infringement, the patent owner must establish that the accused infringer practices all the requirements of at least one of the claims of the patent. (In many jurisdictions the scope of the patent may not be limited to what is literally stated in the claims, for example due to the "doctrine of equivalents").
An important limitation on the ability of a patent owner to successfully assert the patent in civil litigation is the accused infringer's right to challenge the validity of that patent. Civil courts hearing patent cases can and often do declare patents not valid. A patent can be found invalid on grounds that are set out in the relevant patent legislation that vary between countries. Often, the grounds are a subset of requirements for patentability in the relevant country. Although an infringer is generally free to rely on any available ground of invalidity (such as a prior publication, for example), some countries have sanctions to prevent the same validity questions being relitigated. An example is the UK Certificate of contested validity.
Patent licensing agreements are contracts in which the patent owner (the licensor) agrees to forgo their right to sue the licensee for infringement of the licensor's patent rights, usually in return for a royalty or other compensation. It is common for companies engaged in complex technical fields to enter into dozens of license agreements associated with the production of a single product. Moreover, it is equally common for competitors in such fields to license patents to each other under cross-licensing agreements in order to share the benefits of using each other's patented inventions.
Therefore, patents may be enforced through litigation, and a common defense is an invalidity challenge. Patents may also be subject to licensing agreements. The vast majority of patents are however never litigated or even licensed.
In most countries, both natural persons and corporate entities may apply for a patent. In the United States, however, only the inventor(s) may apply for a patent although it may be assigned to a corporate entity subsequently and inventors may be required to assign inventions to their employers under a contract of employment. In most European countries, ownership of an invention may pass from the inventor to their employer by rule of law if the invention was made in the course of the inventor's normal or specifically assigned employment duties, where an invention might reasonably be expected to result from carrying out those duties, or if the inventor had a special obligation to further the interests of the employer's company.
The inventors, their successors or their assignees become the proprietors of the patent when and if it is granted. If a patent is granted to more than one proprietor, the laws of the country in question and any agreement between the proprietors may affect the extent to which each proprietor can exploit the patent. For example, in some countries, each proprietor may freely license or assign their rights in the patent to another person while the law in other countries prohibits such actions without the permission of the other proprietor(s).
The ability to assign ownership rights increases the liquidity of a patent as property. Inventors can obtain patents and then sell them to third parties. The third parties then own the patents and have the same rights to prevent others from exploiting the claimed inventions, as if they had originally made the inventions themselves.
The grant and enforcement of patents are governed by national laws, and also by international treaties, where those treaties have been given effect in national laws. Patents are, therefore, territorial in nature.
Commonly, a nation forms a patent office with responsibility for operating that nation's patent system, within the relevant patent laws. The patent office generally has responsibility for the grant of patents, with infringement being the remit of national courts.
There is a trend towards global harmonization of patent laws, with the World Trade Organization (WTO) being particularly active in this area. The TRIPs Agreement has been largely successful in providing a forum for nations to agree on an aligned set of patent laws. Conformity with the TRIPs agreement is a requirement of admission to the WTO and so compliance is seen by many nations as important. This has also led to many developing nations, which may historically have developed different laws to aid their development, enforcing patents laws in line with global practice.
A key international convention relating to patents is the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, initially signed in 1883. The Paris Convention sets out a range of basic rules relating to patents, and although the convention does not have direct legal effect in all national jurisdictions, the principles of the convention are incorporated into all notable current patent systems. The most significant aspect of the convention is the provision of the right to claim priority: filing an application in any one member state of the Paris Convention preserves the right for one year to file in any other member state, and receive the benefit of the original filing date. Because the right to a patent is intensely date-driven, this right is fundamental to modern patent usage.
The authority for patent statutes in different countries varies. In the UK, substantive patent law is contained in the Patents Act 1977 as amended. In the United States, the Constitution empowers Congress to make laws to "promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts..." The laws Congress passed are codified in Title 35 of the United States Code and created the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
In addition, there are international treaty procedures, such as the procedures under the European Patent Convention (EPC) [administered by the European Patent Organisation (EPOrg)], and the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) (administered by WIPO and covering more than 140 countries), that centralize some portion of the filing and examination procedure. Similar arrangements exist among the member states of ARIPO and OAPI, the analogous treaties among African countries, and the nine CIS member states that have formed the Eurasian Patent Organization.
A patent is requested by filing a written application at the relevant patent office. The person or company filing the application is referred to as "the applicant". The applicant may be the inventor or its assignee. The application contains a description of how to make and use the invention that must provide sufficient detail for a person skilled in the art (i.e., the relevant area of technology) to make and use the invention. In some countries there are requirements for providing specific information such as the usefulness of the invention, the best mode of performing the invention known to the inventor, or the technical problem or problems solved by the invention. Drawings illustrating the invention may also be provided.
The application also includes one or more claims, although it is not always a requirement to submit these when first filing the application. The claims set out what the applicant is seeking to protect in that they define what the patent owner has a right to exclude others from making, using, or selling, as the case may be. In other words, the claims define what a patent covers or the "scope of protection".
After filing, an application is often referred to as "patent pending". While this term does not confer legal protection, and a patent cannot be enforced until granted, it serves to provide warning to potential infringers that if the patent is issued, they may be liable for damages.
For a patent to be granted, that is to take legal effect in a particular country, the patent application must meet the patentability requirements of that country. Most patent offices examine the application for compliance with these requirements. If the application does not comply, objections are communicated to the applicant or their patent agent or attorney and one or more opportunities to respond to the objections to bring the application into compliance are usually provided.
Once granted the patent is subject in most countries to renewal fees to keep the patent in force. These fees are generally payable on a yearly basis, although the US is a notable exception. Some countries or regional patent offices (e.g. the European Patent Office) also require annual renewal fees to be paid for a patent application before it is granted.
The costs of preparing and filing a patent application, prosecuting it until grant and maintaining the patent vary from one jurisdiction to another, and may also be dependent upon the type and complexity of the invention, and on the type of patent.
The European Patent Office estimated in 2005 that the average cost of obtaining a European patent (via a Euro-direct application, i.e. not based on a PCT application) and maintaining the patent for a 10 year term was around 32,000 Euro. Since the London Agreement entered into force on May 1, 2008, this estimation is however no longer up-to-date, since fewer translations are required.
In the United States, in 2000 cost of obtaining patent (patent prosecution) was estimated from $10,000 to $30,000 per patent. When patent litigation is involved (which in year 1999 happened in about 1,600 cases compared to 153,000 patents issued in the same year ), costs increase significantly: while 95% of patent litigation cases are settled out of court, but when the case reaches the court, direct legal costs of patent litigation are on average in the order of a million dollars per case, not including associated business costs.
A defensive publication is the act of publishing a detailed description of a new invention without patenting it, so as to establish prior art and public identification as the creator/originator of an invention, although a defensive publication can also be anonymous. A defensive publication prevents others from later being able to patent the invention.
A trade secret is the act of not disclosing the methods by which a complex invention works or how a chemical is formulated. Trade secrets are protected by nondisclosure agreements and employment law that prevents reverse engineering and information leaks such as breaches of confidentiality and corporate espionage. Compared to patents, the advantages of trade secrets are that a trade secret is not limited in time (it "continues indefinitely as long as the secret is not revealed to the public", whereas a patent is only in force for a specified time, after which others may freely copy the invention), a trade secret does not imply any registration costs, has an immediate effect, does not require compliance with any formalities, and does not imply any disclosure of the invention to the public. The disadvantages of trade secrets include that "others may be able to legally discover the secret and be thereafter entitled to use it", "others may obtain patent protection for legally discovered secrets", and a trade secret is more difficult to enforce than a patent.
There are four primary incentives embodied in the patent system: to invent in the first place; to disclose the invention once made; to invest the sums necessary to experiment, produce and market the invention; and to design around and improve upon earlier patents.
One effect of modern patent usage is that a small-time inventor can use the exclusive right status to become a licensor. This allows the inventor to accumulate capital from licensing the invention and may allow innovation to occur because he or she may choose not to manage a manufacturing buildup for the invention. Thus the inventor's time and energy can be spent on pure innovation, allowing others to concentrate on manufacturability.
Another effect of modern patent usage is to cause competitors to design around (or to "invent around" according to R S Praveen Raj) each other's patents. This may promote healthy competition among manufacturers, resulting in gradual improvements of the technology base. This may help augment national economies and confer better living standards to the citizens. The 1970 Indian Patent Act allowed the Indian pharmaceutical industry to develop local technological capabilities in this industry. This act transformed India from a bulk importer of pharmaceutical drugs to a leading exporter. The rapid evolution of Indian pharmaceutical industry since the mid-1970s highlights the fact that the design of the patent act was instrumental in building local capabilities even in a poor country like India. 
Patents have also been criticized for being granted on already-known inventions, with many complaining in the United States that the USPTO fails "to do a serious job of examining patents, thus allowing bad patents to slip through the system." On the other hand, it has been argued that because of low number of patents going into litigation, increasing quality of patents at patent prosecution stage will increase overall legal costs associated with patents, and that current USPTO policy is a reasonable compromise between full trial on examination stage on one hand, and pure registration without examination, on the other hand.
Patent trolls are one of common criticisms against patents, though some commentators suggest that patent trolls are not bad for the patent system at all but instead realign market participant incentives, make patents more liquid, and clear the patent market.
Pharmaceutical patents prevent generic alternatives from entering the market until the patents expire, and thus maintain high prices for medication. This can have significant effects in the developing world, as those who are most in need of basic essential medicines are unable to afford such high priced pharmaceuticals. Critics also question the rationale that exclusive patent rights and the resulting high prices are required for pharmaceutical companies to recoup the large investments needed for research and development. One study concluded that marketing expenditures for new drugs often doubled the amount that was allocated for research and development. Other articles shed light on the problems of today's medical research. It sets wrong priorities in research and pricing, and pushes the state-run healthcare systems even of rich nations to their limits.
In one response to these criticisms, one review concluded that less than 5 percent of medicines on the World Health Organization's list of essential drugs are under patent. Also, the pharmaceutical industry has contributed US$2 billion for healthcare in developing countries, providing HIV/AIDS drugs at lower cost or even free of charge in certain countries, and has used differential pricing and parallel imports to provide medication to the poor. Other groups are investigating how social inclusion and equitable distribution of research and development findings can be obtained within the existing intellectual property framework, although these efforts have received less exposure.
Some public campaigns have expressed a concern for "preventing the over-reach" of IP protection including patent protection, and "to retain a public balance in property rights" of this kind.
According to James Bessen, the costs of patent litigation exceed their investment value in all industries except chemistry and pharmaceuticals. For example, in the software industry, litigation costs are twice the investment value.
According to James Bessen, elimination of the patent system would increase the incentives for innovation in all industries except Chemistry and pharmaceuticals by eliminating startup litigation costs.
Alternatives have been discussed to address the issue of financial incentivization to replace patents. Mostly, they are related to some form of direct or indirect government funding. One example is the idea of providing "prize money" (from a "prize fund" sponsored by the government) as a substitute for the lost profits associated with abstaining from the monopoly given by a patent. Another approach is to remove the issue of financing development from the private sphere all together, and to cover the costs with direct government funding.
Trade secrets are an existing alternative to the patent system. Given their popularity, it has been proposed[by whom?] to strengthen nondisclosure and employment law pertaining to trade secrets.
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