Fourth Venice Award for Intellectual Property 2007 to Joseph Straus

Posted on 26/11/2007 · Posted in legislation, patents

It was necessary to wear plastic boots for assisting to the cerimony for the Fourth Venice Award for IP 2007 in Venice on Friday, 23th November (due to water high tide in San Marco Square), but it was well worth the effort.

In fact, listening to the winner, Professor Joseph Straus – the Director of the Max Plank Institute – was a big pleasure.

His experience and passion for Intellectual Property Rights is tangible, even though his career has been completely dedicated to intangible assets.

The thoughts Professor Straus gave us during the International conference organized by European Patent Office, Italian Patent and Trademark Office and Venice International University on the occasion of the IP Award have been interesting and precious.

His provocative question was the following: “Is there a global patent warming?”.

The WIPO official data reveal an evident trend: 0,8 million patent applications are pending at US Patent Office and 3 Million patent applications are pending worldwide.
Furtermore, the average increment of resident patent filings in the world has increased of 45 %, from 1995 to 2005. The same indicator is 106 % in Republic of Corea and of 834 % in China.
We imagine the risks of such a global patent warming: pretestuous litigations (the so-called “patent trolls“), uncertainty on IP exclusive rights, unstable validity of patents and – in the long term – confusion in the business.

Regarding this issues, Professor Straus made 3 clever suggestions, that should be taken in serious consideration by everyone who operates in this “crazy” IP world and, above all, by IP official entity:

– creating an efficient system for rational merging of patent knowledge;
– improving armonisation among Patent offices in filing phases;
– strictly applying the requirements for patent validity (in particular, the inventive step requirement).

Thanks, Professor Straus, we will do our best to become more IP-environmental friendly in our next future!

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