patents - Page number 2

Key House committee looks at abusive patent litigation

patent reform

In the latest evidence of the growing recognition that our patent system needs reform, last week the House Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet held an informative and well-attended hearing on "Abusive Patent Litigation".

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte set the tone for the hearing: » Read more

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Abolishing patents: Too soon or too late?

patent stop sign

"Patents are here to stay." This is the sort of statement that makes me uneasy. I guess in the 17th century the common wisdom was "slavery is here to stay." In the 18th century giving voting rights to women seemed absurd and foreseeing open borders between France and German was crazy talk in 1945. At a certain point, fortunately, those things changed for the better. Is it time to change the common wisdom on patents as well? Is the time ripe—will it ever be?—to utter the frightening word abolition? I do not have the privilege to know the answer, but I regard the question as a legitimate one. According to some patent experts, however, questioning the very existence of patents seems blasphemous. » Read more

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Software patents: The talk of 2012

Open law year in review

Looking back over the law channel posts of 2012, I was not surprised to see that software patents were a major concern. The high volume of significant patent lawsuits of competitors and rising levels of NPE (aka patent trolls or patent assertion entities) suits has been the subject of both open source community and mainstream media interest.

There were new ideas on patent reform, and an increasing recognition by the public at large that software patents can hinder innovation. We also saw interesting developments in the areas of internet privacy and freedom and copyright law. I'll go out on a limb and make a prediction: » Read more

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How software patents are delaying the future

software patents

This fall, I went to Amsterdam to talk about "How Software Patents Are Delaying The Future", on a discussion panel organised by the European Patent Office. The other people on the panel were patent attorney Simon Davies, and Ioannis Bozas, a patent examiner at the EPO. The panel was moderated by James Nurton of Managing IP. Despite our very different views on the subject, we had very friendly and informative conversations before, during, and after the panel.

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Patent reform: Can preissuance submissions help?

patent reform

While almost no one thinks that the America Invents Act (AIA) will completely solve America’s patent problems, there are a few provisions in the AIA that may be useful tools in limiting and/or preventing bad patents. One of these tools is the newly implemented Preissuance Submission procedure, which went into effect on September 16, 2012. This procedure allows third parties to participate in the patent application process by providing prior art, which can then be used by a patent examiner to determine whether a patent application lacks novelty or is otherwise obvious. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has now seized upon the new procedure to organize a project to identify pending applications related to 3D printing and then seek out relevant prior art for submission. » Read more

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Should software patents be abolished?

patent struggle

We talk a lot about what might be done to fix the problems of software patents, but not much about abolishing them. Abolition seems well-nigh impossible, given current economic and political realities. Serious economists and respected financial institutions don’t usually discuss it publicly. Thus, I was surprised when I finally got around to reading a recent working paper published last month under the auspices of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis that argued broadly for patent abolition position.

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Software patents make front page of New York Times

software patents

This morning the New York Times published a front-page story on software patents. My wife got to the paper before I did, and as I got coffee she told me the story would make me happy. She also said it was too long for a normal busy person to read in its entirety. It is long, but I am happy to see that the closest thing we have to a national newspaper of record is getting the word out about the dysfunction of the patent system. » Read more

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5 Questions with David A. Wheeler

5 Questions

Meet David A. Wheeler. He's a Research Staff Member for the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) and a well-known speaker, author, and expert on open source software and security. He helped develop the Department of Defense's open source software policy and FAQ and has written other guidance materials to help people understand how to use and collaboratively develop open source software in government. He has a Ph.D. in Information Technology, an M.S. in Computer Science, and a B.S. in Electronics Engineering. We hope you enjoy getting to know David. » Read more

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New EFF campaign proposes seven changes to U.S. patent system

New EFF campaign proposes seven changes to U.S. patent system

Last week, the Electronic Frontier Foundation launched Defend Innovation, a campaign to end software patent abuse, promote seven alterations to the United States patent system, and initiate dialogue about the ways software patents actually hinder the inventors they are designed to protect.

"The software patent system is broken," said EFF Staff Attorney Julie Samuels in a statement released last Tuesday. "Patents are supposed to help promote new inventions and ideas, but software patents are chronically misused to limit competition, quash new tools and products, and shake down companies big and small." » Read more

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Infographic: How patents hinder innovation

How patents hinder innovation

Patents may have been created to help encourage innovation, but instead they regularly hinder it. The US Patent Office, overwhelmed and underfunded, issues questionable patents every day. "Patent trolls" buy too many of these patents and then misuse the patent system to shake down companies big and small. Others still use patents to limit competition and impede access to new knowledge, tools, or other innovations. » Read more

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