Making IP a force-enabler for solving big problems

Article by Hossein Nowbar: “The world continues to confront compounding health, economic and humanitarian crises. We face urgent challenges like carbon in our atmosphere and declining growth of the working age population in developed countries. Microsoft believes that technology – particularly artificial intelligence (AI) – has great potential to help address these problems. The ability to uncover new insights in large datasets will drive new advances in climate science and improve workforce productivity. But success requires more innovation in more fields in less time than any other technological era in human history. And this innovation will be distributed. No one person or company will invent all of the advances in technology necessary to solve these complex problems. It will take collaboration and the fostering of community.

To address these challenges, we need an IP system that promotes pragmatic and practical mechanisms with a focus on how the system can enable innovation, not impede it…

I suggested some ideas the IP community can consider in evolving our IP systems to enable faster progress towards a better future:

  1. Adopt new licensing mechanisms to enable widespread and friction-free use of technology to solve important problems and help inventors obtain economic benefit for their IP. For example, there should be a rate court that establishes license fees for standards-essential patents that would eliminate the ambiguity and uncertainty around licensing such technologies.
  2. Promote exceptions to IP that improve knowledge-sharing, collaboration and development of new technologies like machine learning, such as the text and data mining exceptions adopted in Europe and Japan.
  3. Improve transparency and information flow about IP, including improving patent quality, standardizing licensing models, promoting multiparty cross-licensing, and making economic terms of licenses transparent to everyone in the innovation ecosystem.
  4. Provide economic incentives for collaboration, rewarding those who make their patents freely available for use to address important social problems. We need to promote widespread and friction-free use of technology to take on these important challenges…(More)”.