Priority certificates and non-intrusive IP: an article and a follow-up

In "Priority certificates: a proposal for non-intrusive forms of IP", published in the Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice10 (6): 429-447, Gelu (Jerry) Comanescu and Kelly G. Hyndman argue for a revolutionary approach to the recognition of the creative contributions of inventors and scientists.  According to their abstract:

A new and non-intrusive form of IP is proposed—the priority certificate—covering unprotected subject matter such as scientific discoveries and abstract ideas. In settings such as the academia, R&D and the arts, it is important to ascertain and formally acknowledge the person entitled to priority with respect to a given discovery or abstract idea.

A priority certificate is a document attesting and formally acknowledging that the person named in such certificate is the first to discover a certain phenomenon, the first proponent of an abstract idea or theory, etc. A private party, such as a university, may grant priority certificates to parties making claims of priority. Upon examining an application submitted by a claimant, the grantor issues a priority certificate stating that claimant is the first discoverer, creator or author of the claimed subject matter. This way, the priority certificates confer upon the claimant formal recognition and prestige.

Priority certificates do not confer any exclusive economic rights (eg to sell or manufacture a product). Consequently, they do not create a monopoly and do not have the negative side effects associated with monopolies. They may be implemented by private parties (eg universities) via existing laws, such as contract law, without the need for new legislation or government action. The public can freely use any idea or discovery claimed in a priority-certificate.
JIPLP has since received the following information from the authors:

" ... The JIPLP reviewer and others have pointed out a couple of issues and difficulties re the practical implementation of such service (e.g. the high cost of examining priority-certificates and the expenses associated with just getting a start).

Over the past six months I worked on a practical implementation of the proposed priority-certificates service via a “demo website” (see While developing the demo website / system, I have found a couple of practical solutions to the above mentioned concerns re the priority-certificate system.

In a nutshell the system includes four priority related services:
(1). The personal-priority-accounts – (refers to the system described by reference 19 of my article)(2). The priority-claims publication system - A system allowing innovators and scientists to publically assert a claim of priority re their ideas & discoveries. This way the claimants: (a). put the others “on notice” of their priority claims; and (b). receive feedback / comments from other scientists re their priority-claims, thereby finding whether others have conceived the ideas before them. The priority-claims are not examined. The claimant requests “examination” (i.e. a priority-certificate) only when convinced that it is worth the effort and the expense.(3). The priority-certificates system (as described in the JIPLP article).(4). The rating / ranking of ideas & scientific discoveries (analogous to the EPO “European Inventor Award” system but focused on specific fields).
Some of the important features of these services are the “priority-claims database” and the “priority-certificates database”, allowing scientists to view the new ideas & discoveries in an organized manner.

From a practical point of view it is important to note that the first two services are easy to implement (inexpensive and quick implementation) and can be used to prepare the ground for the more difficult implementation of an examination system. The demo website still needs work (I have hired a “computer person” to help me with that – hope to be ready in a couple of months).

I would highly appreciate any comments and feedback from you about this project".
If you would like to comment or offer any feedback, please you can contact Mr Comanescu by email at and by cellphone at +202-754-2064.

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