Chapter 9

The Future of Intellectual Property Efforts

Many patent issues deal with the future. A patent is hoped to be enforceable for many years into the future. The selection of countries in which to file a patent application relies on an understanding of future markets. Obtaining patents in many countries imparts a large future maintenance bill. In this final chapter we will attempt to gaze into our crystal ball and speculate on how things might be in the future of intellectual property.

Some issues are easy to predict. For example, patent offices around the world have now embraced electronic filing and handling of patent applications, and some now charge extra fees to handle paper applications. The Internet has also provided access to more information than ever before. The challenge is not only in searching for the references; in many cases much of the challenge is in reviewing the details of a larger number of references now found. Therefore, as the world has become linked electronically, and a seemingly smaller place, the challenge to review all this easily attainable information quickly has become greater and greater. Luckily, our electronic tools have advanced, delivering all this information quickly and more efficiently. It is clear that our electronic devices, our smart phones, tablets, computers, and other devices will continue to drive new ways of interacting with patent offices and procuring patents. At one time, only human translations were possible, which were then ...

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