Home » Why Are Patent Terms Limited? | IP Conversations

Why Are Patent Terms Limited? | IP Conversations

Patents are a crucial element of the innovation industry, providing inventors with exclusive rights to their invention for 20 years. But why is this protection granted only for a limited amount of time?

Read this IP Conversation to find out!

Hey IP Geek. 

I heard that patent protection only lasts for a limited number of years. Can you tell me why that‘s the case? 

Patents are usually granted for a period of 20 years from the date of the application.

So if your patent is granted 7 years after the application, you can only get protection for the remaining 13 years. 

Patents represent an advancements in technology, and tech needs to advance as fast and as efficiently as possible.

A patent grants limited-term monopoly rights in exchange for a degree of disclosure.

If there were no patents- ie, government mandated exclusivity periods, inventors would have to resort to measures of extreme secrecy instead. 

Patents exchange disclosure for exclusivity, but if secrecy was all that protected new tech, nobody would let other innovators be aware of new advancements. 

This is both unsustainable and bad for technological development, and leads to losses all around.

I see- I get why patents can’t last forever now. 

Thanks for letting me know about this, IP Geek. 


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