Kevin Mark Klughart

PhD, PE, JD, MIP, LLM

Patent Attorney / Engineer

 

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Patents

 

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Overview

Patent protection for works of invention is a Constitutionally guaranteed protection provided by our founding fathers.  As stated in the United States Constitution in Article I:

"The Congress shall have power ... to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries."

Generally, a patent is a monopoly of limited duration granted by the government to an individual in exchange for complete disclosure by the individual of the invention so that once the monopoly has expired, the invention becomes part of the public domain.  Patents are an exclusionary right, and permit the patent holder to limit the scope of access to the patented invention by the public as defined by 35 U.S.C. 271:

... whoever without authority makes, uses, offers to sell, or sells any patented invention, within the United States, or imports into the United States any patented invention during the term of the patent therefor, infringes the patent."

While a patent does not guarantee that an inventor has the right to practice the invention (since the invention may be covered by a broader patent owned by another individual), it does permit the inventor to prohibit a wide range of commercial activity with the patented product.  This exclusionary right promotes innovation and permits research and development costs to be recouped during the term of the patent.

Aren't Monopolies Bad?

The argument that since patents are a government sanctioned monopoly they are automatically bad or evil has been argued by some who view the patent system as the tool of corporate America.  However, the Founding Fathers of this country realized that without some protection for inventors and artists with respect to limited protection of their works, there would be no incentive for the creation of these important additions to our society.  In fact, the framers of the Constitution placed such an importance on this protection that it is listed BEFORE each of the following powers given our government:

To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
To provide and maintain a Navy;
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

In fact, only the taxation power, commerce clause, immigration, coining of money and the establishment of the postal system were more important than the creation of patent and copyright rights for inventors and artists.

 

 

Contact Information:

Kevin Mark Klughart

Registered Patent Attorney, USPTO

3825 Leisure Lane, Denton, TX 76210-5589

tel: 800-353-1211 / 940-320-0580  -  fax 940-320-0581

Kevin@Klughart.com   email  -  web    www.Klughart.com

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