Summary: An update about ongoing attempts to spread USPTO-inspired software patents across the Atlantic and beyond the Pacific
“Machine translation adds value to patent information” is the title of this new item from the EPO blog. The following may relate to plans of a European patent (or ‘Community’ patent), which would also facilitate and offer room for software patents in Europe with the same machine transformation tests that already exist in the United States:
The EPO President said that accessing and understanding these patents is a key issue for innovators, particularly in view of the growing importance of the question of language of patents. “We need to profit from the opportunities today’s technology provides,” he said, “and put machine translation solutions into place that allow technically qualified people to read patent documents, regardless of their geographical and technical origin.” More than 700 000 machine translations have been requested for documents on esp@cenet since January 2010.
New Zealand has already suffered because of rules that allow combination with “machine” (or device) to patent software and NZOSS is the latest to respond to this recent event.
On the day before the Software Patent Debate Igor and I got some bad news. The lawyer who had said he would be able to present for the Pro Patent position would be unable to attend the debate. We needed to find someone credible, someone knowledgeable, someone who could put on a show. And we needed someone at almost the last minute. Despite impossible odds Igor thought of the perfect person; Brett Roberts, former Platform Manager, strategist and my long time and good natured protagonist. Thanks to the magic of modern communications in short order we had secured Brett as our debating opponent.
New Zealand should watch out. The US lobby is always working to spread US-style laws to all countries (e.g. DMCA, ACTA) because it gives leverage. Software patents are no exception. The patent holders at hand are largely US-based companies (because the USPTO is where such patents can be granted) and they wish to validate/enforce their patent monopolies in more continents. █