07.26.13

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Patent Scope Recognised as Key Problem in the United States

Posted in Patents at 12:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Digital Code of Life: How Bioinformatics is Revolutionizing Science, Medicine, and Business
Digital Code of Life: How Bioinformatics is Revolutionizing Science, Medicine, and
Business
(a book by Glyn Moody which covers patents on life)

Summary: Patents on life and on laws of nature (including mathematics) increasingly viewed as the problem worth tackling

Software patents are the root cause of many problems. Software developers should work on eliminating them as a whole. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC), a lawyers’ branch of the corporations-dominated government, recently ruled on this issue which it had allegedly created a few decades ago (the genesis of software patents is said to be CAFC). Mr. Spolsky recently sought to address this issue one patent at a time, which is an inefficient approach. Cory Doctorow promoted this idea of killing “stupid software patents”, perhaps missing the point that all software patents are inherently stupid. There is another group whose goal seems to be reforming patents and it is actually a well-known as well-established one:

I’m late with this but Public Knowledge announced two weeks ago that it was starting a Patent Reform Project link here. Given that we are surrounded with an incredibly expensive and inefficient and now corrupt (with the presence of the patent trolls’ extortion) system, it is important for the informed and interested to weigh in.

Charles Duan wrote about it here. He said: “Our goal is collect stories from as broad a cross-section of the innovation economy as possible, from the top-level major technology providers to the individual smartphone users. This comprehensive understanding of the interests of all stakeholders will allow us to craft patent policy recommendations that benefit everyone and encourage innovation, building the creative and connected future we strive to achieve.”

The USPTO does not like to listen to critics. The founder of the Web is among them. He got involved in a case where patents on software jeopardised the Web (which is the source of information to innovators) and, as we covered yesterday, he succeeded, so let’s not assume the battle is lost for good. We should aim high and try to eliminate all software patents in one fell swoop; it’s not impossible.

Dr. Glyn Moody shows how in Canada there is a pushback against US patents:

Eli Lilly Raises Stakes: Says Canada Now Owes It $500 Million For Not Granting A Patent It Wanted

A few months ago we wrote about the extraordinary — and worrying — case of Eli Lilly suing Canada after the latter had refused to grant a pharma patent. Eli Lilly’s contention was that by failing to grant its patent (even if it didn’t meet the criteria for a patent in Canada), Canada had “expropriated” Eli Lilly’s property — and that it should be paid $100 million as “compensation”.

Patents have nothing to do with innovation these days, they’re being used for welfare payments to corporations (plutocrats) at the expense of ill or producing people. Canada did the right thing in this case and India has been doing much of the same, rejecting unethical patents. If patents on life can be knocked down, then so can software patents. We just need to work together on the right issues, not bogus issues.

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