Subjectivity of appraisals of inventive step in patent examinations as an element of uncertainty in the potential for technological innovation
Keywords:Invention Patent, Inventive Step, Innovation, Technological Development
How likely is an invention to turn into an innovation in the short, medium, and long term? Do patent examiners have the power to influence the direction technology takes in a given sector or industry? This study discusses possible impacts arising from the interpretation of the concept of inventive step on the potential for innovation in the electricity area. It also aims to identify any indications of subjectivity in the concept of “inventive step,” of the examiners’ decision-making power, and the influence of the examiners’ evaluations on the direction of technology in the light of the concepts of conformity of action by agents to institutional rules and room for deviation as proposed by Dequech (2013). A case study is presented, comparing the content of first instance examinations and appeal examinations of patent claims in the area of electricity from 2015 to 2017, showing the levels of divergence in the appraisals of inventive step and recommendations for initial decisions to be reversed.
How to Cite
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors must have a written permission from any third-party materials used in the article, such as figures and graphics. The permission must explicitly allow authors to use the materials. The permission should be submitted with the article, as a supplementary file.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) after BJO&PM publishes it (See The Effect of Open Access).