During the long journey from the Statute of Anne and early French patents to the strong patent systems for today’s high-tech inventions, humanity has at various times facing the problem of striking a proper balance between the scope of intellectual property rights and the need to sustain scientific and technological progress. Current law-enforcement practices demonstrate that despite harmonized IP legislation globally, the issue of uniform understanding of cases of legal limitations on patent owner exclusive rights (patent monopoly) triggers numerous discussions.
As we know, owners of patents on inventions, utility models and industrial designs possess exclusive rights. One can consider these exclusive rights as granting a patent owner the right to use the relevant intellectual property.
For the purpose of evolutionary development of science and technology, this monopoly is usually limited by relevant laws and regulations.
The first level of limitations are universally applicable to all exclusive rights and include limitations on their use period and territory. The next level of limitations is related to actions that do not qualify as patent right infringement. “Such laws are like spiders webs: they catch the weak and poor, but the rich can rip right through them,” the ancient Greek anarchasis Solon, who articulated this opinion at some point, was right because numerous legal proceedings and controversial opinions regarding the appropriateness of their interpretation are related to the above-mentioned limitations on patent monopoly. In this connection, we would suggest considering in more detail such patent monopoly limitations as the right of prior use and use of a patented item for scientific purposes or for experiment, and trying to unravel this tangled legislative “spiders web”.