8 Nw. J. Int'l L. & Bus. 666 (1987-1988)
Compulsory Patent Licensing in the United States: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

handle is hein.journals/nwjilb8 and id is 676 raw text is: COMMENTS
Compulsory Patent Licensing in the
United States: An Idea Whose Time Has
Come
I. INTRODUCTION
When a business decides whether to compete in today's world mar-
ketplace, it must consider the extent to which its ideas and designs will be
protected from misappropriation around the world. Despite its interna-
tional ramifications, however, patent protection is territorial,' operating
only-within the jurisdiction granting the patent. Companies wishing to
compete overseas must obtain patents from each country in which pro-
tection is sought. While several treaties and international congresses2
have been successful in creating fundamental equity and uniformity
among national patent laws,3 complete uniformity is difficult to achieve
due to different philosophies regarding free enterprise, monopoly rights,
and technological development.
Recognizing the territorial limits of patent protection, a comparison
1 While each nation's laws differ to some extent, a patent is usually a document which a govern-
ment issues, on application, giving exclusive legal rights to the invention. The invention can only be
manufactured, sold, used or imported in the issuing country with the authorization of the patent
holder. WORLD INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ORGANIZATION, PUB. No. 620(E), LICENSING GUIDE
FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES 17, 27 (1977).
2 Kg., Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, opened for signature Mar. 20,
1883, as amended, 21 U.S.T. 1583, T.I.A.S. No. 6923, 828 U.N.T.S. 305 [hereinafter Paris
Convention].
3 The United States has often been a willing participant in such international approaches. See
Paris Convention, supra note 2. A more recent agreement has tried to link the computer storage
systems of the United States and other countries to facilitate patent searches and thereby promote
exchange. Memorandum of Understanding on Trilateral Cooperation in the Field of Industrial
Property, Oct. 19, 1983, United States-Japan-EEC (original document on file with the Office of Pub-
lic Affairs of the Patent and Trademark Office); see U.S., Japan, Europe Sign Agreement on Patent
Cooperation, Bus. AM., Oct. 31, 1983, at 13.

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