Summary: Time is running out as crucial laws may come to pass
THERE has been a lot of talk about a patent reform recently. There is the Patent Reform Act of 2011 [1, 2] and Microsoft has been trying to tilt this type of reform its own way [1, 2] such that only the rich are allowed to become so-called ‘inventors’ (possessing a monopoly on an idea). Another report about this type of reform (suggestions vary) seems to indicate that things will indeed change: [via]
The committee voted 15-0 to back the legislation that would give judges a major role in determining how important a particular patent is to a product, so that infringing minor patents would not lead to huge damages.
The bill also gives patents to the first inventor to file, rather than the first to invent, making the patent application process easier for companies who apply for patents in multiple countries.
Meanwhile, Europe too is preparing to commit patent suicide under the pretense that “EU patent” means a reform which is positive (just increasing damages in practice). The president of the FFII wonders today, “EU patent deal to be signed on Monday?” Why have member states except Spain and Italy decided to enter a suicide pact? The danger is that if Europe falls for this potential FTA prelude (importing software patents from across the Atlantic), so will south America and the remainder of Asia, not just Korea. █