In the field of innovation, a Black Swan popularly refers to a rare, high impact and unpredictable innovation that can bring unprecedented success to any business. Most of the path-breaking, radical technologies that we see around us are Black Swan innovations. And every technology company is looking out for Black Swans and means of protecting them. The law of patents offers the most-comprehensive means of protecting the Black Swan. While it is one thing to offer patent protection for the genuine Black Swans – the real, radical innovations that are novel and non-obvious, it is entirely another thing when old and obvious innovations are patented as new – an ordinary swan painted black! ‘Painting the swan black’ metaphorically refers to passing of a white swan as black (patenting inventions that are obvious) or doing a paint job to refurbish an old black swan to look new (making superficial changes to an earlier invention to qualify for a fresh grant). Both can have adverse affect on business and the development of technology.
"The Touchstone Effect: The Impact of Pre-grant Opposition on Patents" explores the strategic use of pre-grant opposition as a touchstone to test the genuineness of an invention. In a comprehensible do-it-yourself fashion, it guides you to develop an in-house, efficient and cost-effective strategy for challenging patents before their grant. It also gets to the other side to tell you what you should do if your patent application is opposed – that is, if you really have a Black Swan to protect.
About the Author
Feroz Ali Khader is the best-selling author of The Law of Patents – With a Special Focus on Pharmaceuticals in India, a unique legal work which offers free online updates innovatively through a blog (www.thelawofpatents.blogspot.com). Since his last academic outing at