When inventions demand secrecy

The Opinion page article "Keep `First to File' Patent Rule Pending," June 7, makes a strong case against a "first to file" patent system for our country.

However, many competitive businesses need a mix of patent protection and secrecy. Often the only way to protect innovations against imitative competitors is to keep them secret.

Under the present system, a choice must always be made to either file a patent application on an innovation or try to keep it secret. The "prior-user rights" provision in the proposed "first to file" system can minimize the risk that someone will independently invent and patent an innovation that another company had already invented and invested in but chose to maintain as a secret.

Under the patent system's arcane rules, the "first to invent" by law may not be the true first inventor. This is the real problem that should be addressed by any reform. Alex R. Sluzas, Elkins Park, Pa.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please fax letters to (617) 450-2317 or address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK