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Patent Laws, Rights and System: FTC

Patent rights promote innovation; give incentives to inventors to express their ideas by giving them assurance that ideas will be protected. The reason for this is to improve patent quality and to restrict relationship between competition and intellectual property. 

Antitrust laws affect intellectual property in two restraints: Horizontal Restraint and Vertical Restraint.

Horizontal restraint contains Patent Pooling which occurs when patent rights are exchanged between two or more parties. Vertical restraint that contains Tying Arrangement i.e. a sale or lease of a product on the condition that the buyer or lessee take a second product as well.

By granting patent protection, this provides incentives for inventors to disclose their inventions. To ensure that these inventions are available for the public benefit, antitrust laws monitor the patent system, to make sure that others are not hindered from exposing their ideas. Patienter should be very careful when drafting their licensing agreements and royalty arrangements as patent is non-obvious even without a showing of obviousness by the patent examiner.

* Submitted by Haripriya.


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