Patent System And The Challenges Of Uncertainty Impact Of Vuca World


Every innovation and creativity have to come across certain challenges while inventing them. If one creates something from scratch, then the probability of the uncertainties occurred can’t be left one. Hence if there is creation and invention, there will be uncertainty. We are witnessing different game changers and shifts of paradigm with respect to global trade. It is extremely difficult for the inventors to predict these outcomes, preparing for the risks involved. For the purpose of attaining confidence in their work, the legal system has guaranteed them protection of their rights as to their creation in the form of patent, which highlights the ‘monopoly profits and ownership of their innovation. To justify why there is an apprehension of these legal system in the hold of risk. We can look at how United states, no longer retains the title of global leader in the patent protection, as there exists an uncertainty in maintaining the patent standard, leaving doors open for the possibility of unstable and unpredictable standard which further questions the fundamental issue of enforceability and its subject matter.

Whether the conventional machinery of intellectual property system that protects our rights are competent enough to assess these risks and alert the process is indeed an area of concern. The fact that despite all these uncertainties, the innovation outlasts, raising a question as to whether there are any positive implications of these uncertainties.

Therefore, the article focuses on how patents can be challenged with uncertainty, how these patents can impact the whole framework of the innovation on different social and legal spheres.


The term points out the challenges that are put forth in the current fast going global trade. VUCA talks about Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. The increased phase in technological inventions and the various global crisis ranging from the pandemic to the Ukraine-Russia war has led to opening of risk and unpredictability. These unpredictable factors and risk induced can be considered as VUCA effects. With the growth in innovations and technology, the danger induced also increases because innovation and uncertainty go in hand in hand. Such an environment is called as VUCA.


VUCA has a close-knit relationship with all the disciplinaries of social, legal and political environment. To understand the impact of VUCA on the legal system, we must first talk about legal VUCA.


In the legal world, the firms undergo various legal challenges in different levels of research and legal application, hence the risk in litigation arises frivolously. Volatility can be referred with respect to change in work environment or in the legislation, creating space for legal risks.


Legal system has much flexibility as to the discretional power of certain authorities, for examples how judges and administrative agency have their discretion to decide upon the stare decisis and rules governing their area of justice respective. These powers also create an uncertainty.


When higher courts alter legal precedent that must be communicated to and modified in lower courts, vertical complexity results. When smaller legal codes interact with one another, horizontal complexity is created.


When the legal regulations tend to misalign with the legal system, creating a straggle between regulations and innovation, subjecting itself to ambiguous circumstances. As most of the time, certain regulations are interpreted in its essential meaning leading the whole system to question the basis and interpret different theories.


As we discussed different forms of legal risks involved, we must also take cognizance of risks involved in intellectual property system in the current day scenario. Let’s understand the three risks involved in the patent system. Innovation can be interpreted as development, creation and invention. An innovation can’t be made successful with isolated work, it needs continuous assistance and support including interactions and contributing shareholders.

The contemporary notions of how uncertainties can be mitigated with patent laws being rigid is just a farce, as to even when the statutes are properly regulated the uncertainties are prevalent as the technological matter is indefinite and requires uninterrupted research and modifications.

The statutory non obviousness test functions as a filter, rewarding inventions with a low chance of success when assessed in the future. however, the legal principle of the non-obviousness affects behaviour of the innovation and the choices of research and development for further expansion and modifications. Although it creates some ruckus, the non-obviousness standard motivates scientists to work on topics whose outcome seems exceedingly improbable.


There have long been arguments over the features and advantages of patent systems, the appropriate formulation of their regulations, and the possibility for varying domestic and international effects. But nothing is known about how real uncertainty affects incentives for innovation systems, either positively or negatively. At first the uncertainty created a concern for innovators, later it was acknowledged that uncertainty can also lead to positive attributes of an innovation resulting in beneficial consequences. To pinpoint regions in need of change and direct investors or innovators, a more thorough understanding is required, Hence, in a world that undergoes constant change, there are studies supporting how VUCA and these uncertainties have positively challenged the patent system in strengthening their roots in search of a refined patent standard and its scope.

Author: Aparna Nair S - a student of Kirit P Mehta School of law, NMIMS (Mumbai), in case of any query, contact us at Global Patent Filing, or write back us via email at

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