The Global Governance of Knowledge: Patent Offices and their Clients

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Patent offices around the world have granted millions of patents to multinational companies. Patent Offices are rarely studied and yet they are crucial agents in the global knowledge economy. Based on a study of forty-five rich and poor countries that takes in the world's largest and smallest offices, Peter Drahos argues that patent offices have become part of a globally integrated private governance network, that serves the interests of multinational companies. He shows that the Trilateral Offices of Europe, the USA and Japan make developing-country patent offices part of the network through the strategic fostering of technocratic trust. By analysing the obligations of patent offices under the patent social contract and drawing on a theory of nodal governance, the author proposes innovative approaches to patent office administration that would allow developed and developing countries to recapture the public spirit of the patent social contract.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521195669
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 3/31/2010
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Drahos is a Professor at the Regulatory Institutions Network in the Australian National University and holds a Chair in Intellectual Property at Queen Mary, London University.

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Table of Contents

List of diagrams and tables xi

List of abbreviations xii

Preface xiv

1 Patent offices and the global governance of knowledge 1

The patent ocean: Kiribati 1

Global patent governance 3

Definitional clarifications 5

Patents as private taxation 7

Collective action, co-evolution and diffusion: explaining the changes in patent office administration 10

Patent offices: the business model approach 18

Disclosure and social value: two versions of the patent social contract 27

The duties of the patent office 33

The fieldwork trail and some findings 38

'Invisible' patent harmonization and why patent offices matter 47

2 Labyrinths and catacombs: Patent office procedure 55

Welcome to the maze 55

Filing routes 56

A procedure, another procedure and yet more procedures 60

Grant procedure 64

Patent quality 69

The dark heart of complexity: patent claims 79

3 The rise of patent offices 91

Patent statutes 91

Monopoly privileges 92

Procedures for the grant of monopoly privileges 94

The gap between patent law and patent administration 105

The rise and spread of patent administration 110

4 The Sun and its planets: The European Patent Office and national offices 114

Europe's national patent offices 114

The birth of the European patent system 117

The European Patent Convention 122

Funding and fees at the EPO 124

Surf's up: PCT waves 128

The EPO and national patent offices: from centralization to cooperation and competition 130

Technical assistance and technocratic trust 134

The effects of technocratic trust 138

The echoes of empire 142

5 The USPTO and JPO 144

The USPTO 144

The US patent system in the blink of an eye 144

The problems in 1845 149

The problems today 152

Gaming behaviour 155

Patent fees 158

In whom do we trust? 159

The Japanese patent system: from diffusion to monopoly rights 162

Joining the club 164

On being a senior member of the club 167

Becoming an IP nation 171

Trust and automation 174

6 The age of Trilateral and the spirit of cooperation 177

Trilateral cooperation 177

Overwork 180

The spirit of cooperation: the Patent Cooperation Treaty 181

The spirit of cooperation: companies and the PCT 183

On being an international authority 188

The Trilateral hub 189

Superhighways of cooperation 191

The superhighway elite: trust, cooperation and competition 193

The manual is the message 195

7 The jewel in the crown: India's Patent Office 199

Integration 199

India: re-designing a colonial institution 200

The patent raj 206

India's Patent Office: the jewel in the crown 207

Modernization 209

'How can we win?': India's strategy on patents 212

From bright line rules to shades of grey 213

A patent-bright future? 217

8 The dragon and the tiger: China and South Korea 221

Patent law in the era of decline, rebellion and war 221

Patents in communist China 223

Opening the door to patents 226

The great leap forward: the State Intellectual Property Office 230

The Asian Trilateral 235

The tiger office 236

9 Joining the patent office conga line: Brazil 242

Brazil: the nineteenth century 242

Brazil the leader 245

Brazil's Patent Office: 'making the IP business much bigger' 250

10 Islands and regions in the patent stream 257

The force of empire 257

New empires 260

New missionaries 264

Regional automation 272

Regional patent organizations 274

One patent god 282

11 Reclaiming the patent social contract 285

A private insider governance network 285

A counter network of outsiders 290

The separation of powers principle 293

New insiders for insider governance 294

An external audit check 295

Taking transparency seriously 298

Transparency registers 304

'The ticket clippers': regulating the patent attorney profession 308

Examiners and patent quality 314

12 Patent administration sovereignty: Nodal solutions for small countries, developing countries 318

Sovereignty matters 318

Outsourcing the patent social contract 321

Centralized regionalization: making regulatory capture easier 324

Nodal governance 326

Public nodal governance in patent administration 332

Not raising one's head above the parapet: lost opportunities in a world of nodal governance 336

Index 341

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