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11.14.12

Peter S. Menell Singles Out Software Patents in His New Paper

Posted in Patents at 3:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Dr. Stallman said such patents should not be enforceable in courts

Peter S. Menell

Summary: Academic from Berkeley names patents “relating to computer software and business methods” as those in need of special treatment

The following new paper from law professor Menell has the following abstract:

Fuzzy patent claim boundaries undermine the functioning of the patent system by making it difficult for inventors and competitors to assess freedom to operate in many technology marketplaces, especially those relating to computer software and business methods. This commentary advocates the use of a detailed, electronic, claim application form to address this problem. By placing greater responsibility on patent applicants to delineate the precise boundaries of their claims — by, for example, specifically indicating whether they intend to invoke the means-plus-function claim format by checking a box — patent examiners could more easily evaluate what is being claimed, competitors could more easily know contested intellectual territory, and courts could more easily construe patent claims.

This new research work was highlighted by Groklaw, which also took note of this:

As I described a few weeks ago, over the coming months I will build on Mike Madison’s lists of “lost classics” of IP scholarship by asking IP professors to list some works that influenced their own scholarship and that they think young IP scholars should be familiar with. As the first addition to this project, Tun-Jen Chiang (George Mason) has suggested four additions to Madison’s list of patent classics, which are listed below along with my own brief summaries.

“IP scholars” is a vague term. It is the “IP” nonsense — a notion promoted by law professors, patent lawyers, and lobbyists. Speaking of which, the man behind SOPA, the ACTA terror (act of IP terror), might replace Mrs. Clinton quite soon. Biden will do it OBAMASELF again, for IP maximalists. That’s what happens when politicians are mostly lawyers.

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