Patents for Development

Patents for Development

Improved Patent Information Disclosure and Access for Incremental Innovation

Nefissa Chakroun

This book investigates whether it is possible to execute the disclosed technologies just by reading the patent application. Nefissa Chakroun argues that while TRIPS Agreement obliges inventors to disclose full and complete disclosure, patent information users lack the capacity to fully utilise such information for their economic development. The book offers a critical analysis of the disclosure requirements of the patent system as well as an in-depth examination of the ways in accessing and retrieving patent information. Chakroun articulates proposals for strengthening the disclosure and methods for enhancing retrieval and exploitation of the technological knowledge, including an integrated policy on how patent information could be better utilised for development

Chapter 3: The foundation of a right to patent information

Nefissa Chakroun

Subjects: development studies, law and development, law - academic, intellectual property law


In so far as clear and complete disclosure implies a right to patent information, this chapter argues that an enhanced right to patent information ought to be explicit rather than implicit. The chapter seeks to explore the theoretical and legal foundations for an implicit right to patent information and the potential for an explicit right to such information. Before embarking on the arguments underpinning a right to patent information, it is important to outline the meaning of some technical terms that are relevant to this issue. At the outset, there is no particular ‘right’ to patent information, in the sense that such a right is not clearly established by a specific legal text. Instead, it can be deduced from international laws, particularly intellectual property legal frameworks that have recognised principles promoting the dissemination and transfer of patent information. Next it is important to distinguish between the right to access patent information and the right to use or exploit this technical information for development. While the right to access patent information implies making patent information available to third parties, the right to use it exceeds this step and goes further to enable third parties to implement the invention described in such information. This implies not only access to the information but also its utilisation for economic and commercial purposes, which might also involve transferring the know-how of the inventor.

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