A USEFUL SYSTEM SHOULD REMAIN USEFUL
Too little time and manpower for a thorough patent examination
After more than twenty years of activity in the field of industrial property protection, I am increasingly concerned about a situation which, in my view, is increasingly jeopardizing the successful and, in principle, reasonable patent system.
I am referring to the overburdening of patent offices in examining the question of whether an invention for which a patent application has been filed is actually a true novelty. This point is the central question on which it depends whether an invention filed for becomes a granted patent that gives its owner a far-reaching monopoly position on the market.
Given the abundance of technical information available in a wide variety of ways around the world and in hundreds of languages, it is almost absurd to imagine that a single official can reliably answer this question after a search in the patent literature (and usually only there) lasting several days at best. And yet, this very approach is still common practice in virtually all patent offices around the world.
Pseudo-protection rights pervert the idea of patent protection
Inevitably, patents are granted all over the world on a daily basis that would not withstand closer scrutiny. And whenever it comes to the acid test, namely in opposition or nullity proceedings, one has to realize that hardly any property right survives such proceedings unharmed.
In other words, countless patents worldwide unjustly block good ideas. This cannot be in the public interest and, moreover, damages the useful instrument of patent protection by perverting it.
Legal certainty through "fact scouting"
This is where AVALANCHE aims to remedy the situation. In addition to the work of the patent office, we trigger an avalanche of inquiries among experts on the subject matter of an applied-for patent. Using our "fact scouting" method, we approach experts and ask them for their opinion on the patent applied for. And: We reward those who inform other experts about our respective question - namely when we get usable results for assessing the novelty of the respective invention under investigation.
By doing so, we are putting the system of protecting genuine innovations through patents back on its feet. And we are providing legal certainty for patent applicants - but also for all other players in the market. We believe that by doing so, we can make the world a little fairer.