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Patent Protection

Patent Protection
The Idea behind Patent Protection In product markets, the problem of imitation poses a great problem for innovators who are deprived of enjoying economic profits fully. If imitators are able to move in rapidly and capture a substantial share of the market, the initial profits earned by innovators may not be sufficient to cover their costs and risks in the long run. However, a substantial delay between the time of innovation and successive entry by competitors may provide the pioneers with decent profits and make invention and innovation a more attractive activity. The patent system, by establishing a period of time during which the firm faces reduced competition, increases the expected return for innovative effort. Product and Process Innovations: A nation by stimulating research and development can increase the prospects of product and process innovations. Governments can encourage such innovations by granting patents. Three criteria must be satisfied to obtain a patent: The invention must be new It must not have been known to the public before the inventor completed it for more than one year prior to a patent application It must be useful and must be non-obvious What are Patents? Patents confer the exclusive right to the use of an idea for a long period (which varies between nations,say,in countries like India, it is seven to fourteen years, depending on the nature of the product) within which the innovator might be able to recover his initial investment. Another reason to grant patents is to provide for widespread disclosure of new ideas and techniques. The main objective of patent protection is to encourage research and development. Patents: Encourage research and invention Induce an inventor to disclose his discoveries instead of keeping them as a secret. Offer a reward for the expenses of developing inventions to the state at which they are commercially practicable; and Provide an inducement to invest capital in new lines of production Granting of Patents: The idea behind granting of patents thus is to benefit the society. Developing countries have to offer patent protection, the lack of which has made many foreign firms shy away from investing in core sectors like pharmaceuticals and biotechnology in these nations. As a result, people of these countries are forced to buy life saving drugs like those for cancer and have to pay ruinous prices. Once patent protection is available, there is a possibility for manufacturing most of the drugs that are being imported, eventually leading to a fall in the price levels. One of the difficult aspects of patent law is the principle that, whether a patent is to be issued to the person who conceives the idea or who first files for a patent. Another international issue involving patents is that, countries allow firms to steal and copy protected ideas, due to lack of severe legal enforcements or lack of interest. Either way it proves detrimental to the interest of the patent holders and such violations have to be strictly prohibited. Note: THE PATENTS ACT, 1970: An Act to amend and consolidate the law relating to patents The Patent Amendment Act,2005 The Patent Rules,2003 and Amendment Rules,2006 are some of the laws that protect patents in India....
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Transfer of Technology

Transfer of Technology
Transfer of Technology- Commercialisation Vs.Benefit The total influx of technology in underdeveloped countries is from the advanced capitalist countries for obvious reasons, which will be the highlight of this discussion. Multinational corporations play a vital part in technology transfer, the motive being profit maximization for the parent company through their subsidiaries. These corporations act as the principal instrument of technology transfer, either through their subsidiaries or through contractual agreements made with developing countries. The idea is to bring mechanized processes and equipments that are not locally available. Dominance of Technology Supplier: The technology supplier usually takes the upper hand owing to his monopolistic strength that arises from the patent protection for differentiated products and processes. Very often, the terms and conditions of transfer are arbitrarily settled under highly imperfect market conditions by the technology supplying multinationals. Advanced nations have the advantages of reduced population density, even distribution of national wealth, high standard of living, more infusion of capital into research and development, availability of skilled personnel inclined towards research etc. Dependency of Developing Nations: Developing nations on the other hand are subject to the pressures of high population density, uneven distribution of economic wealth (poor people become more poor and the rich even richer), moderate or low living standards etc. Capital drain occurs due to heavy borrowings from the World Bank which leads to increase in the social overheads. In such a situation, it is next to impossible for a developing nation to pump capital into activities concerning research. Bargaining Power of Developing Nations: The bargaining power of developing nations is weak, as they have no access to information about alternate technologies and their sources nor the necessary infrastructure to evaluate the appropriateness of equipments, intermediates and processes. Moreover, the large part of the influx of technology in developing countries is in response to the policy of industrialization through import substitution. Transfer of technology from the developed to the underdeveloped countries is made in a number of ways. They are classified into two broad categories, viz., direct mechanism and indirect mechanism. The direct mechanism includes transfer of technology through banks, journals, industrial fairs, technical co-operation, movement of skilled people etc. Here there is a choice for the developing nation to select the appropriate technology that best suits their requirement. However, this is not the principal form of technology transfer that advanced nations would prefer. Price of Technology: The indirect mechanism implies technology transfer in a “package” or a “bundle” containing technology-embodying equipments, industrial properties like patents and trademark, skill, equity capital, etc. In this system, a local enterprise negotiates with multinational corporations for transport of the required elements of technology, and the terms and conditions are settled through a process of commercial transaction. Since the trading partners are unequal, the terms of contract are invariably restrictive and the price extended for the technology unreasonably high. All the underdeveloped countries, which have opted for growth along the classical path of capitalist development, are in a position to invite multinational corporations, if for no other reason than at least for the diffusion of...
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