FROM OTHER CIRCLES|
following Lecture of Dr. Farag Moussa, IFIA President,
on the idea of a
Last Update: August 9, 2002
Francisco and Pedro GARCIA-CABRERIZO
We have read with
enormous pleasure your very interesting lecture entitled "The World Patent is coming.
Are industry and inventors ready ?". The way every aspect is developed is truly
President and Vice-President
Garcia Cabrerizo Foundation (Spain)
June 7, 2001
[Translation from Spanish]
Inventors' Digest (USA)
July 29, 2001
A world patent will become as important and obvious as a US
patent being valid in each of the states of the United States. One of the greatest
inventions of the 20th century -- the Internet -- will make the promise of a world patent
possible. However, there are many hurdles to be overcome before we will get to the reality
of a world patent.
1. Any proposed system must be equitable for all inventors -- multinational
corporations, universities, medium and small businesses and independent inventors. As the
concept of a world patent is discussed at international meetings, the voice most likely to
be heard is that of the major corporation leaving the needs of other entities unheard.
IFIA is uniquely positioned to alert inventor organizations around the world to proposals
that would potentially diminish the value of patents held by small businesses and
2. The cultural differences in the definition of "inventor" will be
challenging to overcome. The United States Constitution provides that "the
inventor" must be given exclusive rights -- for a limited time -- to his technology.
In each US patent application the inventor must swear that his invention is, indeed, his
own. Other nations declare the "inventor" to be the first person to file a
patent application and no oath of inventorship is required.
3. Creating the world patent is just part of the challenge; enforcing it is a
totally different challenge. Certain nations today turn a blind eye to obvious
infringement of copyrights that you so rightly explained in your lecture protect writers
and artists around the world. Trade negotiators delicately try to encourage these rogue
nations to enforce copyrights within their borders and the result is, unfortunately too
often, agreement at the negotiating table that is not enforced.The eventual creation of a
world patent is inevitable but cultural differences and international respect for the
intellectual property of others must first be attained. Along the way, the world must
achieve heightened appreciation for the creations made by independent inventors. Unless
that happens, the global patent system will be designed with the needs of the
multinational corporations in mind . . . the independent inventor will be forgotten and
the world's richest source of creativity will be lost.
I am welcoming the discussion on the issue of a possible
"world patent", and I am very much favouring the idea. As you know I have been
in the field of innovation for many years and also spent many years working with the
situation of the inventors. Together with another consultant in Sweden I have performed a
little study about the reasoning of the inventors regarding patent matters. Totally I have
studied more than 20 different development projects and the main impression is that
inventors know very little about the patent procedures as such in the beginning of the
project - but they also learn a lot by developing the idea into a marketable product.
Founder & CEO of Sound Around AB (Sweden)
September 17, 2001
My conclusion is that anything that will make the patent system(s) simpler to understand
is very desirable and your idea of a "world patent" is absolutely right. But the
inventors also have to learn more about the patent systems as well.
The fact is that one patent application can be granted through one decision in the
European Patent Office (EPO) and, if translated, also be valid in 20 European Countries.
But the same patent can be invalidated by 20 different courts in Europe. The European
Commission has been working on this issue for the last 30 years and hopefully we will soon
have a "Community Patent" with a new judicial order in the European Union.
Actually I think Europe is a kind of test bench for development of patent systems. We
already have two different systems, and one more in the pipe line. A world patent is
certainly in the line of the general globalisation of the different markets. To think
national or regional seems to be of limited value.
I certainly liked your paper on the need for a world patent.
Retired. Previously: Secretary General and Chairman of IFIA, head of a research institute
August 28, 2001
As you so correctly state the national patent office employees seem to be fearing for
their jobs. In Norway I tried to convince the late Patent Office director that it was far
more important for his staff to inform and guide industry in the skill of research in
patent literature than to devote their working hours on examining patent applications. A
good example of a patent office assisting industry I had found in South Korea.
Dr M. A. MUNTASSER
We would like on behalf of the International Energy Foundation
(IEF) to congratulate you on promoting the idea of a world patent and express the IEF full
support of the same based on the various advantages it will offer as clearly sustained in
your lecture. We would wish this idea all success.
President, International Energy Foundation (Tripoli, Libya)
November 13, 2001
Mr Kari SIPILÄ
Foundation for Finnish Inventions (KEKSINTÖSÄÄTIÖ)
December 18, 2001
It was very interesting to recall your Helsinki presentation of May 18, 2001 and
additionally I have reviewed your pm concerning "Current situation of worldwide
patent system" Geneva, July 5, 2001, as well as several papers concerning PCT.
I agree with you that the patent systems in the world are complicated and often take a lot
of time. Additionally, I think that many countries want to have revenues to cover the
costs related to patenting. Improvements are welcome but to protect the rights of an
inventor a good and reliable system is required. Also I think that qualified patent
attorneys and financiers like our organization are essential partners to inventors.
"The World Patent" is a good dream and it would be valuable to reach the goal.
Several steps have already been taken or are on consideration like European Community
Patent and activities in America and Asia. The "continental" patent systems
could be the next possible step to reach. After these phases it will be a shorter step to
"the world patent". All that is said keeping in mind that national patent
offices are essential and close to the inventor, remembering also language problems. The
tasks of national patent offices can easily be widened to serve larger international
activities and tasks. WIPO's role, of course, could be strengthened a.o. by using more
modern databases and information systems. It could be a central organization to
To conclude I appreciate very much your work towards "the world patent". The
result should be that a patent can be granted reliably, with less bureaucracy and of
course faster and cheaper.
I feel that if "the world patent" would exist, also our work as invention
promoter and financier would be more advantageous to the inventors.
Mr Jean -Luc VINCENT
International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva
January 30, 2002
English translation by IFIA, followed by original in French
In my capacity of founder and president of the International Exhibition of Inventions of
Geneva, which celebrates this year its thirtieth anniversary, I had the opportunity to
meet or see tens of thousands of independent inventors and heads of innovative
entreprises. All come to our exhibition with the hope to commercialise their new invention
in several countries. This implies that they will have to protect their invention one day
by obtaining patents in all these countries.
The problem is that the international system for patent protection as it stands today is
very complex, extremely costly, to the extent of being dissuasive. That is why I
congratulate IFIA's President for having launched once again the idea of a World Patent.
We of course know that the road will be long and difficult to reach such a goal. But is it
a reason to abandon all efforts? Certainly not. One has to bring up this idea again and
I speak from experience. I have known so many disappointed inventors! For lack of
financial means, they had to limit the protection of their invention to a few countries.
And when, some years later, they could have licensed their invention in another country
where no protection had been sought, they lost a unique chance of commercialization
I should like to add that as an organizer of an invention exhibition, I am convinced that
a greater number of inventors and innovative SMEs would exhibit at our fair if there
existed a better system of protection at the international level. The ideal would of
course be a World Patent accessible to all.
En tant que fondateur et président du Salon International des Inventions de Genève,
lequel célèbre cette année son trentième anniversaire, j'ai eu l'occasion de
rencontrer ou de côtoyer des dizaines de milliers d'inventeurs indépendants,
occasionnels ou professionnels, et des chefs d'entreprises innovantes. Tous viennent à
notre Salon avec l'espoir de commercialiser leurs nouvelles inventions, et ce bien sûr
dans plusieurs pays, ce qui implique que ces inventions doivent un jour être protégées
par des brevets dans tous ces pays.
Or le système international de protection des brevets tel qu'il se présente aujourd'hui
est extrêmement compliqué, excessivement cher, voir dissuasif. L'idéal serait un brevet
mondial, simple dans sa procédure et d'un prix abordable. C'est pourquoi je félicite le
Président de l'IFIA d'avoir lancé, ou plutôt relancé cette idée d'un brevet mondial.
Nous savons tous que la route vers cet objectif sera longue et difficile. Mais est-ce une
raison pour y renoncer? Certainement pas. Il faut remettre encore et encore cette idée
sur le tapis.
Je parle d'expérience. Combien ai-je connu d'inventeurs frustrés! Faute de moyens
financiers, ces inventeurs avaient dû se limiter à ne protéger leur invention que dans
un petit nombre de pays. Or, quelques années plus tard, des occasions de licence se sont
présentées ailleurs, qui faute de protection de l'invention, ont fatalement
J'ajouterai qu'en tant que responsable d'un salon international d'inventions, je suis
convaincu qu'un plus grand nombre d'inventeurs et de PME innovantes viendraient exposer
chez nous, s'il existait un meilleur système de protection au niveau international.
L'idéal étant bien sûr un brevet mondial accessible à tous.
Ms Elke PETRA
Patent Attorney (Germany)
January 31, 2002
I was particularly pleased to read your lecture about the (hopefully) future World
Patent", as well as the various personal opinions on the subject which you, as
President of IFIA, received from many countries and regions of the world. I would like to
briefly add here my own views.
Regardless of whichever name is chosen, whether World Patent" or Global
Patent System", it will be almost too good to be true! Particularly because, as you
have so accurately pointed out, we have been waiting almost thirty years for the European
Community Patent" which is still at a dead lock due to (national) obstacles, in
particular language problems. If fifteen countries already have a community
problem" in trying to reach a unified effective patent for all the countries in that
community, how on earth will one hundred, perhaps two hundred countries agree on a unified
patent without experiencing a world problem"?
That is why it would seem so simple to create a world-wide and generally valid patent,
using, as a first step, the possibilities already available - namely, the (international)
PCT application and the equally available international (preliminary) examination, without
requiring entry into any national or regional phase, without validation and without
additional national maintenance or annual fees. Happily, since the PCT has experienced or
will experience in the near future fundamental procedural simplifications and cost
reductions, obtaining a World Patent via PCT will be the best thing for the inventor, the
small applicant and even for the major applicant. One could say that it would be almost as
beneficial as copyright is for artists and authors, at least from the territorial aspect.
It is true that a future World Patent" will incur costs that will not be
negligible, but at least the protection rights would be based on search and examination,
which is not the case with regard to copyright.
I have read with great interest your recent report concerning the PCT simplifications
already decided. I am always happy to read about the simplification of procedures and the
cost reductions in connection to the PCT procedures, which are not only extremely
complicated to us attorneys but become incomprehensible if not totally confusing for the
inventors and the small or medium-sized innovative enterprises.
I hope that the World Patent" does not remain only a vision; that our
generation will live to see the relevant treaty drafted and adopted at least. You, dear
Farag, and all those who are working to bring the World Patent" into being, can
be assured of the wholehearted support of all us inventors!
European Patent Attorney (Switzerland)
Past President of IFIA
May 6, 2002
About thirty years ago I invented a device to measure the temperature of the skin within a
few seconds as exact as ± 0,02° C. At the time I was a student and the cost for filing a
patent was a tremendous sum for me. The idea of protecting the invention worldwide was
simply ridiculous. A protection in Switzerland, my home country, and a patent application
in Germany without having translation costs was all I could afford.
Only a few years later the European Patent Convention (EPC) and the Patent Cooperation
Treaty (PCT) came into force. Would I have been in a better situation if I had made my
invention a few years later? Would I have been able to pay for a much wider protection?
Would I have been able to file a patent in more countries than only Switzerland and
No, no, no! The cost of an international patent application at that time would have been
far above my personal budget. Just the official fees composed of the national transmittal
fee, the international basic fee, the international designation fee, the international
search fee and the fee for the Preliminary Examination due only some months later would
have been far beyond a student's financial realities. And what would I have got for the
money? Not a World Patent, not even an International Patent, but only
- an international filing date,
- an international search report and
- an international preliminary examination.
You might say, but that is not bad, after a positive International Search Report and a
positive International Preliminary Examination Report, all you need is the registration,
the grant of the carefully searched and internationally examined application.
All completely wrong! Since the contracting states of the PCT don't trust each other. The
International Search Report issued by the European Patent Office is not good enough for
Australia, the International Search Report of the US Patent Office is not good enough for
the European Patent Office, the International Search Report issued by the Japanese Patent
Office is not good enough for the Hungarian Patent Office, and so on and so on
And what is the situation with the International Preliminary Examination Report? Yes,
again the examination carried out by any of the International Examination Authorities is
not accepted by any of the other International Examination Authorities nor by any other
national Patent Office with national examination procedures. The International Preliminary
Examination issued by the European Patent Office is not even good enough for the European
Patent Office itself!
So how far away from a World Patent are we? Very close - and far away! As close as freedom
is from war and as far as war is from freedom. As soon as each patent office accepts the
search carried out by another patent office, as soon as each authority accepts and trusts
in the examination report established by another authority, the international patent
application in accordance with the PCT regulations would be a World Patent application and
result in a World Patent once we have a "PCT Chapter III" in which as well the
granting will be done by an authority or organization accepted by all contracting states
of the PCT.
Once we have gone so far it would be the next important step to accept a court decision in
one contracting state in all other contracting states. The appeal to the Supreme Court of
Singapore would have the same effect as the appeal to the Supreme Court of the United
States or that of Italy.
Dreams and inventions are both immaterial, intellectual and individual achievements. As
long as they are not commercialized, and not money related, they will not cause any envy
and will not give cause to any mistrust. But who is interested in a worthless patent?
Which inventor is not dreaming of a fortune?
A World Patent application is close! A worldwide-accepted patent examination procedure is
far but a realistic assumption.
A World Patent will remain a dream as long as we have not the United World of Individuals.
Unrealistic? Yes! Idealistic? Yes! Do we have to give our hearts for a realistic world?
No! So let us work together for a better world, a somewhat idealistic world. That might be
one day the realistic way. Step, by step, by step
Dr. Hossein Salar
Iranian Research Organization for Science and Technology (IROST)
July 8, 2002
I would like to express my sincere appreciation for your very exceptional, personal
interaction with members.
It is true that many things have changed after 1883. The growing borderlessness of trade
and technology has changed the international scene and the world patent system seems to be
the ideal solution for reducing and eliminating costs and formalities. What is essential
in this idea is that without discrimination independent inventors, inventors from
developing countries and SMEs would benefit from the world patent system.
Your dream is the dream of all the inventors in the world!
Center for New Venture Alliance
California Invention Center (USA)
July 28, 2002
I totally love your concept of a World Patent. To recognize all the inherent problems that
would be associated with it, many of which you cited, is an enormous obstacle.
Besides the huge political hurdles, especially with the hundreds of egos involved, is
going to be a tremendous undertaking to achieve acceptance.
If a large group of major international corporations were to adopt the concept and commit
resources to it, it could be done...
I provide consulting to Siemens, and presently working on a licensing agreement with the
Electrolux Corp., of Sweden... They certainly have very broad visions of IP, and recognize
its value to their growth and profit...
How can I help?
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