Vol.12 Issue 1 (2016)

Picket Patents: Non-Working as an IP Abuse

Dr. Feroz Ali

Patents picket when the patent holder practices the patent in certain jurisdictions but refuses to work the patent in others. The concept of patent picketing developed as a result of a shift from the representation of the working of an invention physically to the merely describing, effectively, the inventions in patent applications. Patent holders picket with their patents and demand a higher price, thereby not only preventing others from using their invention but also ensuring that the product is not made available in all markets. Such behaviour can be regarded as an intellectual property (IP) abuse when the non-working of a patent leads to deprivation of another patent locally. The issuance of a market-initiated compulsory licence may solve the problems linked with IP abuse arising out of patent picketing.

Author

MHRD IPR Chair Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, and Advocate, Madras High Court