Patents – We are net importers of technology, why not reverse-engineer?

Many of you would not have heard of the word patents before, and some of those who have, find it a bit confusing to say the least.

Essentially, a patent is a type of intellectual property right which is granted by the state to an inventor/innovator of a new and innovative product.

There are steps to be satisfied before a patent can be granted, but once granted, the owner is granted exclusive rights to further manufacture and develop the patented product, thus making new products out of the patented subject-matter.

Many products used daily derive from a patented product. The laptop, our television sets, our mobile phones … the list is infinite. Indeed, we are net importers of technology.

Being net importers of technology enables us to disassemble the product, figure out how it works, and make a new product which can even be sold cheaper than that which is extant.


Take the mobile phone for instance. Or the iron, or the laptop or indeed, the PC. Once these products are what we consider “dead-beat” they are thrown away. But before, many of us try to recycle them by taking them to a young “genius” or “science-freak” or indeed, one of those specialised places where they are capable of repairing these things. Except that, some times, these products become irreparable and the solution – buy a new, swanky piece of technology, more likely than not from the US, because it is cheaper.

But imagine this scenario where instead of throwing away the technologies, these so-called “dead-beat” technologies are used in an educational manner. Whereby our young people learn to dismantle the product and learn about the intricacies of making this product. Learn to assemble and dismantle the building blocks, the legos.


A nation which builds its own products can become more competitive on the global market. Indeed, instead of being a net importer of technology, we can become exporters of such technology, sold cheaper than that which is extant.

Of course, it will take a number of years before we change from giving away our hard-earned cash to increasing the public purse, but the fact is — it is wholly possible.

Patents are a powerful investment!


Marcia B Moulon-Atherley, Attorney at Law and Avocat à la Cour

Law Office of Marcia B. Moulon

Copyright Marcia B. Moulon-Atherley, Esq. 2010-2015.  All Rights Reserved.