Quantum Computing Issues And Consequences For IP Industry
Today, Quantum Computers have become a necessity for the computing world as quantum computers could allow us to solve problems and make calculations that are not even feasible to do today. “Some experts predict that within the next 20 years, sufficiently large quantum computers could be able to break all public-key schemes currently in use”. Imagine taking your mobile phone back to the 1960s and showing people what it can do. The step up from today’s computers to a quantum computer may be even more significant.
The IP industry perspective would have severe consequences for ownership of ideas due to complex technology. As technologies become more complex, there is a greater need to share information and collaboration to ensure the technologies can adequately mature and develop. From a patent attorney’s perspective, filing a patent related to quantum computing is a challenge. For example, when filing a patent application, it is necessary to describe the invention in sufficient detail that somebody working in the field could replicate the invention, based solely on the information in the patent application; however, with cutting edge technology, this can be difficult to describe the invention in sufficient details. Secondly, Patents can protect for up to 20 years. If quantum computers are not going to become a commercially viable proposition at that time, then patents may not be worth pursuing.
Hence, a patent attorney must carefully advise whether enough detail can be provided and whether there is merit in having a patent in this domain.