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Evolving Landscape of Patent Remedies in a Changing Marketplace

Elizabeth Siew-Kuan Ng

(2012) 24 SAcLJ 634

The principal goal of intellectual property (particularly patent) laws is to foster innovation for the public good. Yet, the proliferation of patents could stifle technological advancement if the incidence and risks of undesirable innovation “hold-ups” are not addressed. This article draws on the recent developments in the information and communication technology sector, such as the ongoing global patent war involving smartphones and tablets, to support the contention that the patent system cannot continue to play the vital role in promoting innovation without recalibrating the balance between the competing, and sometimes conflicting, interests of divergent stakeholders in the patent system. More controversially, it is argued that courts should seriously consider going further to award ongoing royalties or prospective damages as a remedy under national laws.