IP Kat, the London IP Blog uncovered an interesting statement from the House Judiciary Committe. The idea: A Single, Low-Cost World Patent. Did you know that the US is seeking a worldwide patent?
The cost to U.S. companies and inventors of applying for and obtaining separate patents in each of 150 or more countries is prohibitive. Indeveloping countries and even in Europe, patent fees are at such high levels that they constitute a tax on innovation. European government fees to obtain andmaintain a patent are more than ten times the fees in the U.S. In addition, the expense of retaining separate patent attorneys or agents in each foreign country is burdensome and expensive. The United States could take a leadership role in negotiating an agreement under which countries would give full faith and credit to patents granted by an international organization or one of the three largest patent offices in the world– the U.S. Patent Office, the European Patent Office, or the Japanese Patent Office. Countries giving full faith and credit would charge a minimal fee for patenting in that country, and it would be unnecessary to retain separate patent attorneys or agents to obtain a patent in that country. The obstacles to negotiating and implementing such an arrangement would be formidable, but a single low-cost world patent is the best long-term approach to obtaining effective world-wide patent protection for U.S. companies and inventors. [Emphasis by IPKat].