Harnessing the Creative Spirit in a Diverse World
Edited by Uma Suthersanen, Graham Dutfield and Kit Boey Chow
4. Policy considerations for governments Uma Suthersanen and Graham Dutfield In essence, the choices facing policymakers in respect of sub-patentable inventions are far from straightforward. Questions for governments are: Should we leave sub-patentable inventions unprotected (sub-patentable meaning those inventions which show little or no inventiveness)? l Should we lower the inventive step threshold under the standard patent law so that more inventions, including minor sub-patentable innovations, become patentable? l Should we seek to create alternative legal means of protection such as a tort or misappropriation law, or a hybrid property rights system such as design rights? The fundamental precondition for a decision on whether or not to adopt UM protection is that developing countries must map out and evaluate their own industrial and innovation base, and identify its current and long term economic requirements. The following points elaborate what type of specific considerations and questions need to be asked. l 4.1 The Right Type of ‘Intellectual Property Institutional Order’? Intellectual property systems are more than just pieces of legislation, and may best be viewed as public policy regulatory institutions. As such, they consist of the relevant statutes, rules and regulations plus the government agencies, courts and professional people involved in interpretation, implementation, enforcement and reform. Institutions are not static but evolve over time, and they operate in different ways according to the context. Thus, they may be appropriate and functional in one context but inappropriate and dysfunctional in another, and it can be very difficult to predict how well such...
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