Patent Policy and Innovation

Patent Policy and Innovation

Do Legal Rules Deliver Effective Economic Outcomes?

Hazel V.J. Moir

This empirical study uses a scientifically selected sample of patents to assess patent quality. The careful evaluation of the assumptions in alternative economic theories about the generation and diffusion of new knowledge demonstrates that the height of the inventive step is critical to effective and efficient patent policy.

Chapter 7: The quantum of inventiveness: other approaches and rules

Hazel V.J. Moir

Subjects: economics and finance, economics of innovation, intellectual property, innovation and technology, economics of innovation, intellectual property, law - academic, intellectual property law


The cases considered here cover both the issue of different approaches under the EPC and a range of policy rules which were designed to ensure that patents were not granted for very trivial inventions. The cases considered in Section 7.2 are all ones where a patent has been granted under the EPC, often assumed to have a higher inventive step. Patent policy includes a number of doctrines which are designed to ensure that patents are not granted for minor modifications and variations. The cases presented in Section 7.3 are ones where one might have expected the analogous use doctrine or doctrines about workshop variations and technical equivalents to apply. There are a variety of other doctrinal rules that affect the grant of patents and the cases discussed in Section 7.4 provide some insights into such doctrines as the problem/solution approach, the requirement for a tangible output and prohibitions against the patenting of ideas.

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