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The Patent Social Contract and the Duties of the Patent Office

Professor Peter Drahos


The lacture focuses on the patent social contract and argues that it provides the basis for thinking about the duties that the patent offices owes to the public.  Thinking about the duties of the patent offices is important because patent offices around the world have largely failed their publics.  Two versions of the patent social contract are distinguished – the disclosure version and the social value conception.  The former is rejected and the latter defended. The duties of the patent office under the social value conception of the patent social contract are identified.  The talk concludes by suggesting some regulatory strategies for the implementation of the
patent social contract.

Conference Paper (pdf)