These original Kirt's Cogitations™
may be reproduced (no more than 5, please) provided proper credit is given to me, Kirt
– noun: Concerted thought or reflection; meditation; contemplation.
Kirt [kert] – proper noun: RF Cafe webmaster.
Do you believe that some patents are downright... petty? If you
are referring to the special class of Petty Patents offered
by many non-U.S. countries, then you might be unwittingly paying homage
to the grantee. Germany (since 1891), Japan (since 1905), Italy (1940),
Greece (1987), Finland (1991), Denmark (1992) and Austria (1994), China
(1985), Taiwan, South Korea, Turkey, Ireland, and many other countries
issue what are termed Petty Patents or Utility Patents
or 2nd Tier Patents. These legal devices allow inventors to
obtain a degree of protection against thievery, albeit they are typically
more difficult to defend than full-fledged patents. Petty Patents
are usually awarded for a term of 4 to 10 years, depending on the country,
are issued at a much lower cost and in a much shorter time than are
Standard Patents. Because of their lower status, many people
refer to the patents as a Booby Prize Patent or a Patent
To help remedy the situation, Australia recently implemented
an Innovation Patent to replace the Petty Patent.
Re the Innovation Patent, "The new system is aimed to provide
quick, simple and affordable rights for up to 8 years from the date
of filing the application. An Innovation patent may have a maximum of
5 claims, all of which can take an independent form. Unlike Petty
Patent applications, applications for Innovation patents are not
examined prior to grant. While the prior art base, and the scope of
protection offered by an Innovation patent is the same as that for a
Standard patent, the threshold required for inventiveness differs. In
contrast to a Standard patent, there is no requirement that the invention
claimed in an Innovation patent be non-obvious. The only requirement
is that the invention as claimed must make a substantial contribution
to the working of the invention. In cases where an invention does not
provide a substantial difference over existing technology, it should
be possible to obtain broader protection through an Innovation patent
than a Standard patent."
OK, so that is Government's idea of
improving a situation. The difference sounds rather...petty.