12.15.10

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Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Tries to Take Software Patents International

Posted in Patents at 12:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: An early leak of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement shows pressure for many countries to adopt software patenting

THE notorious ‘free’ trade agreements (FTAs) are a disgrace for reasons well beyond the scope of this Web site, but what’s important to us is their impact on patent policies. 10 days ago we showed that a new South Korean FTA was pushing for software patents in Korea, all on behalf of large American corporations. Is it now the role of government to carry through signings of dubious treaties that only benefit the ‘big guys’?

According to KEI, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) negotiations are trying to push software patents everywhere, not just Korea for example. It’s based on a leak, so a lot of people may not know about this yet. To quote KEI:

The industry wants the TPP to mandate software patents:

The language of the TPP agreement needs to be strengthened to specifically require providing patent protection for computer implemented inventions.

The main area where transparency is mentioned is in connection with the ability of the industry, including large drug companies and other health care providers, to have deeper access to the decision making process of regulators, including regulators who set prices.

The US industry position contrasts the New Zealand government position leaked last week that challenges the overprotection of intellectual property, particularly in the areas of copyright and patents and asks the TPP patent and copyright provisions be no more stringent than existing WTO TRIPS global standards.

Who is really being served here? Does the government help corporations gain more power over small businesses using patent monopolies? This sure is a disservice to the public at large. Not so long ago, NASA’s government-funded (taxpayers-funded) software patents were being auctioned. There is also this new item in the news, which speaks about “Government-Owned Inventions”. One reader of our says “this might be right up your street USA government selling licences to medical” and as the page notes:

The inventions listed below are owned by an agency of the U.S. Government and are available for licensing in the U.S. in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 207 to achieve expeditious commercialization of results of federally- funded research and development. Foreign patent applications are filed on selected inventions to extend market coverage for companies and may also be available for licensing.

Governments will need to decide whether they serve people or promote the interests of monopolist/monopoly holders (protectionism).

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