The value of freedom in a country is priceless. If one country has freedom of speech and thought then they are sure to have a bright future ahead of them. How so? If a society has freedom of thought then they are free to explore their interests or whatever else that may pique their curiosity, which could eventually lead them to great knowledge and amazing discoveries.
Take the United States for example. America has surpasses all the other countries of the world not only economically but technologically as well. Although it is true that most technological inventions and other scientific discoveries did not really originated from the Americans themselves but rather are attributed to citizens of other countries. However, it is undeniable that these technological inventions are enhanced and further developed in America. Thanks to America's innovative patent system these technological inventions are put to better use.
Just what is a patent you asked? The term "patent" is generally defined as a set of exclusive rights granted by the government to a person for a certain period of time (usually for 20 years) in return for the regulated, public disclosure of some information about their invention. It was Thomas Jefferson who initiated the first national patent system in the United States of America during the year 1790. From then on, this exclusive right has been protecting the inventor's interest by preventing other people from copying, using or selling the already claimed invention.
So how exactly are these patents significant in technological advancement? According to the World Intellectual Property Organization or WIPO about 90% to 95% of all the world's inventions can be found in patented documents. However, these technological inventions comprise only a small percentage of all the patents that are applied for and granted. Therefore it is safe to assume that the latest patent applications are the kernel of technological advancement.
Take a look closer at the Internet. This technology has undergone numerous changes from the time that the concept of the World Wide Web was first introduced a few decades back. In an attempt to put Internet into better use, various inventors who aim to further develop and enhance the existing models filed numerous patent applications that are related to this technology.
One of the latest patent applications is called system and method for scoping searches using index keys. The invention involves a set of index keys, which is to be included in an index search system that are related with the scope of the search instead of the content of the documents, which are the target of the search. These so-called "scope keys" enables the scope of the search to be customized, thus reducing the number of documents that a search supposed to sort through in order to acquire the results.
Another latest patent application that is related to technological advancement in the Internet is the "system and method for performing a search and a browse on a query". Now, in this invention a search and a browse on a single user query is executed. Then a refined query is chosen from the results of the first user query. After that, a list of concepts from a first directory that are related with the refined query is acquired.
Here, the "concepts" are categorized in a hierarchical relationship. Concepts with broader scope are obtains a higher position. Meanwhile, the concepts with narrower scope get a lower position in the hierarchy. In addition, a list of web sites that related with the search concept is also acquired from a second directory.
The forming intent-based clusters and employing same by search, is also a patent application that is related in further enhancing the Internet. This patent application is associated to a system and method that will be use for identifying and forming intent-based clusters based on search requests that were sent by the users to the search engines, as well as to the search engine utilizing the formed intent-based clusters to answer the search requests made by the users. To be more precise, the invention is associated to recognizing and utilizing intent-based clusters so that a search made by a user with similar intent may receive a respond more quickly and efficiently. Most importantly, with search results that more directed to the search of the user.
All three patent applications are dedicated in making the Internet searching process less complicated and not to mention, much more efficient in terms of coming up with results.
Today, patents are considered as the leading source of technological information that is vital in technological advancement. Thanks to the innovative Information Technology industry, particularly to the Internet, the general public can now easily access these constructive documents. Just about anyone who is familiar with the Internet can browse through different patent databases available and obtain the specific patent document that they needed.
There are various patent databases that are accessible by the public, USPTO, EPO, JPO, to name just a few. For instance, if you are looking for patents that are related to a certain technological area you will find countless information regarding the entire process of technological innovation, such as the evolutionary path of a specific technology, it's technological development, technological diversification, technology merges, as well as the major players in specific technological area, and the key points of the specific technology.
The secret behind each major technological advancement and inventions are thousands of patents that were applied, filed and then put it into practical use. Fortunately for us the public are well aware of the significance of patent application in developing tomorrow's technology. The number of patent applications is growing at an enormously fast rate. Inventors not only from America but from other countries as well, are diligently working on their inventions as well as on patenting their ideas -- a clear indication that our nation's future is indeed in good hands. For as long as the American government continues to nurture innovation, then they will remain as global leaders both in economy as well as technology.