Improved Patent Information Disclosure and Access for Incremental Innovation
Chapter 2: The significance of patent information
Article 29 of TRIPS obliges the patentee to make a clear and complete disclosure of the invention, thus, as a threshold matter the question needs to be asked as to the definition of the term ‘patent information’ and related concepts as well as its significance. Before embarking on a discussion of core problems underpinning the use of patent information for development, it is important to outline the meaning of some technical terms that relate to the central concept of patent information. When referring to this type of information, commentators might also use the term ‘technical information’ or ‘technological knowledge’. Patent literature refers to both granted patents and published patent applications, and these are also used to indicate patent information. Regardless of the terminology that can be used, patent information is considered as one of the most highly concentrated collections of technical information. It is characterised by a high level of organisation, which is mainly due to the various patent classification systems. The level of format uniformity between these documents can be very consistent compared to other types of literature. In this respect, it is important to clarify that technical literature is available not only in patent documents. It can also be obtained by consulting technical journal-grade literature, which refers to organised papers written with a focus on a specific technical area and quite often published by a periodical industrial journal.
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