following Lecture of Dr. Farag Moussa, IFIA President,
on the idea of a

Last Update: August 9, 2002

Francisco and Pedro GARCIA-CABRERIZOSpain F Garcia-Cabrerizo.jpg (12034 bytes)      Spain P Garcia-Cabrerizo.jpg (15334 bytes)
President and Vice-President
Garcia Cabrerizo Foundation (Spain)
June 7, 2001

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 magnificent !
[Translation from Spanish]


Joanne Hayes-Rines
PublisherUSA Joanne Hayes-Rines.jpg (13661 bytes)
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 independent inventors.

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.


Torbjörn LARSSONSweden Torbjörn Larsson.gif (4917 bytes)
Founder & CEO of Sound Around AB (Sweden)
September 17, 2001

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.
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.


Retired. Previously: Secretary General and Chairman of IFIA, head of a research institute (Norway)
August 28, 2001

I certainly liked your paper on the need for a world patent.
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.


President, International Energy Foundation (Tripoli, Libya)
November 13, 2001

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.

Finland_Kari_Sipila.jpg (13371 bytes)
Executive Director
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 decentralized units.

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 VINCENTSwitzerland_Mr_Vincent.jpg (4135 bytes)
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 again.

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 échoué…

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.

Germany_Petra.jpg (2067 bytes)European 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!

Switzerland_Feldmann.jpg (2490 bytes)Mr. Clarence FELDMANN
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 Germany?

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 AMOLI
Deputy President
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!


USA_Udell.jpg (9547 bytes)Lawrence J. UDELL
Executive Director
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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