Ruud Peters, Chief Intellectual Property Officer Philips, The quality of patents should improve: only focus on inventions which matter (published previously in the Financiële Dagblad on Saturday 28 July 2012)
“Therefore I propose to have patent applications only examined on a limited basis, the search. This search consists of a novelty research conducted by the patent office, including a written opinion as well as the applicant’s written response to the written opinion. However, this preliminary, relatively cheap, public research does not lead to a grant of the patent. The application stays in a ‘twilight zone’. For an in-depth research, the examination, which can lead to a grant of the patent, a special request should be submitted at the patent office. Every party having an interest in acquiring quick clarity with respect to the validity of the patent is entitled to submit such special request. This could be the applicant himself or a third party. One should pay an additional fee for such an in-depth investigation. If after, for example, five years no one has filed for examination the application will automatically lapse. This makes it possible for the market and the community to prioritize the work load of the patent offices.”
Read the article (in Dutch) here.