02.12.08

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Forbes on Patent Trolling, US Government Still Stalling

Posted in America, Intellectual Monopoly, Patents at 9:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

USPTOForbes Magazine is not renowned for being pro-Free software, but it bothers to publicise a serious issue that affects many large companies, not just Free software. Here is its new article that explains patent trolling.

But while Cannata and patent investors like Rembrandt claim to be protecting the rights of inventors, their detractors believe they are simply well-financed patent trolls–a derisive term used to describe companies with no operations other than suing big business over patents. Concern over the practice has reached Washington, D.C., where both the courts and lawmakers have been moving to protect corporate America from patent-related litigation.

The government continues to send mixed messages. It remains unknown what impact the election will have on this because power is typically exerted behind the scenes. Presidential candidates are almost irrelevant to making a difference, but some apparently beg to differ:

It may make little difference in the long run, but you might learn a lot about how the next President feels about technology if they are forced to vote on patent reform.

At the same time, the current US administration seems to be taking pride in its intellectual property law.

She said the Bush administration is still hoping that Congress will enact a set of sweeping intellectual-property law changes recommended last year. It would like politicians to criminalize “attempting” to infringe copyrights, permit wiretaps for piracy investigations, and increase penalties for intellectual property violations, among other things.

Mind the lack of separation between copyrights and intellectual property. This leads to deliberate confusion that might give software patents a perceived legitimacy that is not deserved.

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