An economy of services largely dominates our world today, but no patent system is available to support it. All signs point increasingly to evidence that in almost all countries—and as enshrined in the TRIPS Agreement—patent rules and procedures are seriously handicapped in their incapacity to respond to current economic reality. Many inventions today are made without any materiality, yet they are nonetheless genuine inventions, such as those that arise from the banking, insurance and business consulting industries. Today’s patent system remains deeply linked to the making of things with human hands. It must evolve and adapt so that the new economy can also benefit from its advantages.
This book is about that adaptation—which will come, or, rather, as the author shows, has slowly started to come. By describing details and historical events that shed light on how patent law has evolved from the pre-industrial to the industrial economy, the book manifests the need for a further evolution of patents to the post-industrial economy. Its main point is that society should allow patent law to evolve into a naturally subsequent stage: service patents. In support of this contention, the author provides in-depth analysis of the characteristics that service patents should present, including formal and substantive requirements, scope of rights, and terms of protection.
As both a birds’ eye view of the current status of the industrial patent system and its functions (particularly in a context of globalized trade of goods), and as a clear call for innovation in patent law in conformity with the structures of the post-industrial economy, this is a truly seminal work.
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Part I From Proto-Patents to Industrial Patents .
Chapter 1 The Emerging of Proto-Patents.
Chapter 2 The Emerging of Industrial Patents.
Part II Industrial Patents.
Chapter 3 Designing Industrial Patents.
Chapter 4 The Global Industrial Patent System.
Part III From Industrial Patents to Service Patents.
Chapter 5 Patents for the Post-industrial Age.
Chapter 6 Designing Service Patents.
Table of Cases.