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Patent use exception for user-generated inventions. the maker movement meets patent law
Patent use exception for user-generated inventions. the maker movement meets patent law
The high-tech corner of the user-innovation scene is dominated by makers. The expansion of the maker movement embraced fields such as robotics, electronics, and 3D printing, where makers are not only hobbyists, but true contributors to technological progress. By contesting the classical paradigm of innovation incentivized by IP protection, they question the established principles of patent law. In consequence, we observe friction between two discrepant approaches and philosophies: open communal workings (making) and closed proprietary operations (patents). In addition to that, changes in IP practice and the dynamic of making provokes concerns about the free use of the patented ideas. The fact of public sharing, even in a form of one “innocent” Internet post, e.g. suggesting (instructing) certain patent improvements, can be sufficient to claim indirect patent infringement or inducement to infringe. The research addressed the question of the applicability of patent excpetions (limitations of the patent exclusivity) that enable defence in patent infringement cases. It also examined those measures with regard to the scope of the freedom-to-operate they provide. In the course of the project it was demonstrated that the communitarian profile of the movement and the uncontrollable dissemination of information do not allow for the movement to fit under the protective umbrella of patent limitations. The study proposes a novel solution within the framework of patent limitations to address free tinkering and the public dissemination of information. Its objective is plain and simple: to free makers from infringing patent rights, from being involved in patent puzzles and from decoding patent claims.
patent law, patent exceptions, patent limitations, maker movement, DIY culture, innovations, non-commerical use, patent exclusivity,
Łukaszewicz, Natalia
2016
English
Universitätsbibliothek der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Łukaszewicz, Natalia (2016): Patent use exception for user-generated inventions: the maker movement meets patent law. Dissertation, LMU München: Faculty of Law
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Abstract

The high-tech corner of the user-innovation scene is dominated by makers. The expansion of the maker movement embraced fields such as robotics, electronics, and 3D printing, where makers are not only hobbyists, but true contributors to technological progress. By contesting the classical paradigm of innovation incentivized by IP protection, they question the established principles of patent law. In consequence, we observe friction between two discrepant approaches and philosophies: open communal workings (making) and closed proprietary operations (patents). In addition to that, changes in IP practice and the dynamic of making provokes concerns about the free use of the patented ideas. The fact of public sharing, even in a form of one “innocent” Internet post, e.g. suggesting (instructing) certain patent improvements, can be sufficient to claim indirect patent infringement or inducement to infringe. The research addressed the question of the applicability of patent excpetions (limitations of the patent exclusivity) that enable defence in patent infringement cases. It also examined those measures with regard to the scope of the freedom-to-operate they provide. In the course of the project it was demonstrated that the communitarian profile of the movement and the uncontrollable dissemination of information do not allow for the movement to fit under the protective umbrella of patent limitations. The study proposes a novel solution within the framework of patent limitations to address free tinkering and the public dissemination of information. Its objective is plain and simple: to free makers from infringing patent rights, from being involved in patent puzzles and from decoding patent claims.