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05.25.11

Even Patent Lawyers Struggle to Defend the Broken Patent System

Posted in America, Patents at 5:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Piggy bank

Summary: New lows for the USPTO as even those who benefit from it question its legitimacy

The Lodsys story recently turned up the heat on software patents and it is not quite over yet. In fact, anti-Linux troll Acacia is still accumulating more patents with which to extort companies [1, 2] and as we mentioned yesterday, “Likewise Software Resolves Patent Dispute with Quest Software” (Likewise promotes Microsoft APIs/protocols in UNIX/Linux). Well, even boosters of software patents (Gene Quinn in this case) struggle to defend it. “Increasingly patent trolls are shaking down small businesses and the payments they force look far more like extortion than anything else,” he wrote. This new setback reminds us that companies use patents not to invent but to extort. It is not surprising that the “Campaign Against America Invents Act Intensifies” [via Groklaw]:

Some might say that they are a bit late to the game considering that the Patent Reform bill pending in Congress passed the Senate 95-5 in March and by a similar huge majority passed the House Judiciary Committee in April, but opposition to the America Invents Act is intensifying.

Specifically, the issues of the virtual elimination of the current one year grace period and the change from a first-to-invent to a first-to-file regime are being attacked.

One major problem with the USPTO is that prior art search is limited to existing patents, not existing implementations. Moreover, ideas that are too abstract pass the test of patentability. Until this is stopped, the patent office will be called a “crock” or at least a nuisance. It is simply not there to promote science, not anymore anyway.

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