Improved Patent Information Disclosure and Access for Incremental Innovation
Chapter 3: The foundation of a right to patent information
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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