1. Where could an inventor search and locate previously made inventions that would make their invention not patentable?
2. What happens if Inventor A has an invention in its grace period and Inventor B discloses a similar or identical invention after Inventor A while it’s still in the grace period? What happens if it is done in bad faith?
3. In the case of Frito-Lay North America, Inc. v. Canada (Commissioner of Patents), 2020 FCA 73, Frito-Lay had initially filed for a patent for their new flavour of potato chips called “Infused Hot Pepper” where the Canadian Patent Office had initially rejected the application. Still, after an appeal, the patent was later accepted. Frito-Lay claimed that the flavour was not obvious.
Would a person who is skilled in creating such flavours have found this flavour non-obvious?
4. “For an invention to be patentable, it must be useful in the sense that it holds practical value … [and] the usefulness requirement can be satisfied if the invention has a specific, substantial, and credible usage.”
What qualifies as substantial? What if the invention is only useful to a very niche group? Does that count as being enough to be patentable?
5. Some individuals or companies have been caught obtaining patents that could be very useful and helpful for the public but have chosen to utilize the patent solely for monetary gains. In 2019, Canada’s Competition Bureau was looking into the allegations of Janssen using its patent for abuse. There were allegations that the pharmaceutical company was engaging in anticompetitive conduct related to selling a drug used to treat MS.
Do you think in today’s society, some individuals or corporations use patents solely for monetary gain and to hold a monopoly?
How would you suggest a solution or preliminary steps to take to ensure this does not keep happening?
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