10.09.12

New York Times Covers Software Patents in Front Page, Article Could be Improved

Posted in Patents at 11:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

New York Times

Summary: Raves and criticisms over a front-page article covering software patents in the trend-setting media

“This morning the New York Times published a front-page story on software patents,” wrote Rob Tiller. David K. Levine from Against Monopoly has criticisms of the piece that is said to represent dissent against software patents and patents in general. Here is a set of comments about it.

The FFII’s mailing lists noticed that as well. Geza wrote: “In the New York Times there’s a nice article about the software patent mess (with special regard to the smartphone patent wars) … there’s also a short movie on the patent madness (>540.000 patents involved in the computer desktop…):
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/10/07/business/patents.html”

Robert Dewar criticised the piece. “I missed two things, he wrote. “a) any critical appraisal of the value of patents in the drug field, it is not at all clear that they play a positive role in innovation. b) casual acceptance of the idea that inventors are somehow entitled to profit from their inventions.

“It would have been nice to see a reminder that this is NOT the basis for patents in the US!”

Geza says: “good points; i have the impression, that the pro-patent stance is so deeply ingrained that one feels that by conceding pharma patents one may be better able to argue against swpats.

“The bottom line is, attention is being given to an issue that has long been ignored or overlooked by the trend-setting media.”“I agree with you, however, that it is far from clear that patent-focused research is successful even in the pharma field.

“They also missed to name the big elephant in the room: the complete lack of empirical evidence, that patent protection benefits innovation or productivity (cf. the paper by Boldrin et al.)

“Nevertheless, I thought the piece did not paint too rosy a picture and left little doubt that something’s seriously amiss with the patent system.”

Robert Dewar says: “Right, but especially in the US, patents are about benefiting the general public, not about providing some fair benefits to inventors.”

The bottom line is, attention is being given to an issue that has long been ignored or overlooked by the trend-setting media.

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