Swearing to protect corporations like Apple
Summary: Obama is expected to supersede another patent-induced ban — this time against a Korean company — and whether he does so or not, the patent system in the US (USPTO) loses its credibility
The patent system in the US is not working based on the state of the economy. Maybe it helps make the rich even richer, or maybe it helps drive innovation to China, the world’s rising superpower. American.com has this new article which deals with Obama’s focus on patent trolls [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11] — a subject that motivates some new blogs. This is essentially going after the small guys and leaving the rest, who occasionally suffer from those small guys, in tact. Towards the end the article mentions software patents too:
In conclusion, the Obama administration’s executive actions do not require Congressional approval, and will likely result in some modest improvement in transparency and increased PTO level of scrutiny of software patent applications. But serious Congressional policy debate likely will begin in this fall’s session, reflecting a significant opportunity to develop a common legislative agenda on Capitol Hill for much needed, focused bipartisan patent law reform addressing PAE litigation abuse.
PAE means patent trolls. It is a more polite term. Obama could be given the benefit of the doubt if he hadn’t helped Apple embargo Korean rivals (in reverse, removing ITC deterrence against Apple by Samsung). He intervened in the sanctions war by acting to unban the Apple products which a suitable authority decided to ban. Now that Samsung gets banned will Obama intervene again? Or dos hen only come to Apple’s rescue?
Samsung has suffered a big blow in the US over the weekend with a court issuing an import ban on some Samsung devices on grounds they violate two of Apple’s patents.
The Obama administration now has 60 days to decide whether to let the Samsung ban take effect, and may stoke accusations of favouritism if it decides to back the American Apple over South Korea’s Samsung.
If Obama’s staff can’t veto this decision, then it will show that the legal system in the US is just a farce with nationalist agenda. Either way, the fact that Obama’s staff members can intervene in lawsuits they know nothing about is itself proof of a broken, rogue, and arbitrary legal framework. This whole legal ‘anarchy’ serves to show that perhaps this whole system needs abolishing; slight reforms that change public perceptions won’t be enough. Reforming the patent system is like ‘reforming’ the massive surveillance apparatus. █