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MGMT 6060: Business Implications of Emerging Technologies  

Tracking Patents
Last Updated: May 1, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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why patents?

"We have looked about to see what nations are the greatest, so that we can be like them. We asked ourselves 'What is it that makes the United States such a great nation?' and we investigated and found that it was patents, and we will have patents."

~ Korekiyo Takahashi (1854-1936), first commissioner of the Japan Patent Office


  • So others don't profit from your ideas
  • Because unpatented technology creates worse dilemmas than patented technology
  • To control exploitation of patented technology 
  • To receive financial return from commercialization of patented technology 
  • To stimulate progress

what is a patent?

  • An  exclusive intellectual property right, essentially a monopoly, on an invention, which is a product or a process that provides, in general, a new way of doing something, or offers a new technical solution to a problem.
  • It blocks others from making, using, or selling the invention for 20 years from filing date, providing protection for the owner of the patent.
  • In return, the inventor provides full public disclosure of the invention.

Three types of patents

  • Utility patents "for a new and useful process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof"
  • Design patents "for a new, original, and ornamental design for an article of manufacture"
  • Plant patents "for a distinct and new variety of plant"

what a patent is not

  • Does not provide a right to do anything
  • Generally, does not consider ethics & morality

    why track patents?

    "Patents are one of the few real indicators of future product releases, provided it can be established which patents relate to specific products." ~Bob Stembridge, Thompson Scientific, 2006

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