Monday, October 10, 2016

Patents and standards

U.S. Patent 4,608,967 to Ralph R. Piro: Pat On the Back Apparatus 
What is a patent?
  • Patents are governmental grants that give inventors exclusive rights to their inventions for up to 20 years in Canada
  • Only “inventions” are patentable
  • In Canada, patents are a form of “intellectual” property Types of intellectual property
  • Patents: cover new inventions (process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter), or any new and useful improvement of an existing invention
  • Trade-marks: are words, symbols or designs (or a combination of these), used to distinguish the wares or services of one person or organization from those of others in the marketplace
  • Copyrights: provide protection for artistic, dramatic, musical or literary works (including computer programs), and three other subject-matter known as performance, sound recording, and communication signal
  • Industrial design: are the visual features of shape, configuration, pattern or ornament (or any combination of these features), applied to a finished article of manufacture
  • Integrated circuit topographies: refer to the three-dimensional configuration of the electronics circuits embodied in integrated circuit products or layout designs 
  • Plant breeders’ rights: apply to certain new plant varieties
Intellectual property

  • Are country specific 
    • A Canadian patent protects an invention only in Canada 
  • Must meet 3 basic criteria 
    • New
    • Useful
    • Ingenious 
  • In Canada given to 1st inventor to file an application 
Why search patents? 
  • 80% of patent information never disclosed or published elsewhere
  • Patents contain specific technical detail, research data and drawings
  • Patents and patent application often published before academic papers on subject
  • To assess relevant market trends 
  • To know competitor patent portfolio 
  • To avoid infringement situations 
What is a standard?
  • A document that establishes accepted practices, technical requirements or terminology for a particular product, service, system, or field
  • In a broad sense, a standard is anything that tells you how to do, test or identify something. Standards Council of Canada. Frequently Asked Questions. 
  • Standards are documented agreements containing technical specifications or other precise criteria to be used consistently as rules, guidelines, or definitions of characteristics, to ensure that material, products, processes and services are fit for their purpose. ISO 
  • A document, established by consensus and approved by a recognised body, that provides, for common and repeated use, rules, guidelines or definitions of characteristics for activities or their results, aimed at the achievement of the optimum degree of order in a given context. The ISO/IEC Guide2:1996 
Who develops standards?
  • Committees of expert stakeholders which are usually organized and managed by an organization that specializes in the development of standards
  • Standards are formulated by Standards Developing Organizations (SDOs), usually a government agency, technical or trade association, professional society or association, international or regional organization or a private company 
  • In principle most standards are voluntary 
  • In practice, the demands of the marketplace mean many standards are effectively mandatory 
  • Government legislation may make some standards mandatory, e.g. electrical codes
  • The Standards Council of Canada, a crown corporation, coordinates the Canadian standards system and represents Canada on the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 
Selected Canadian standards organizations 
  • Canadian Standards Association (CSA) 
  • Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB) 
  • Bureau de normalisation du Québec (BNQ) 
  • Underwriters’ Laboratories of Canada (ULC)
International standards
  • International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 
    • A non-government organization established to promote the development of standardization and related activities in the world with a view to facilitating the international exchange of goods and services, and to developing cooperation in the sphere of intellectual, scientific, technological and economic activity 
    • Covers all technical fields except electrical and electronic engineering standards
    • ISO is not an acronym, it is a word derived from the Greek isos meaning equal
  • International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
    • Prepares and publishes international standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies

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