In recent times, an active interest among the learned few have directed invention pipeline procedures along the standards domain. This is inclusive of the fact that best possible way to protect and invention or a process is by the patent process.
While patents are government granted authority on supposed industrially applicable novel scientific inventions, they are exclusion based ownership which prevents others from utilizing or ‘falling upon’ their findings. Standards on the other hand are more open ended. They provide the details of a process or product which set the parameters outlining functionality. So, patent protection holds options for legal support and financial increment for any infringed upon portion of the invention, the commercial aspects of standards are a tad bit different. Standards setting body decides on the parameters that can determine the production of a technology or the procedure itself. Often that particular process or procurement method involves brushing past patent protected processes created by the same organization which can potentially result in infringement or licensing clause. I am not sure if that qualifies as conflict of interest, but a conflict nonetheless, and a fair one indeed. In today’s world of self-incrementing intellectual property clauses and costs, perhaps it’s fair to break up an invention or a process into patents and standards.
Not that every single inventor sole intention is making money, but keeping this clause while designing or testing the product could possibly speed up the regulatory and IP framework as standards are extremely application oriented. An increased possibility of licensing and commercialisation, if any, doesn’t hurt either.