Summary: The US is not even trying to truly reform patent policy and Europe is preparing to ‘import’ (through globalisation/treaties/etc.) this atrocious policy, based on new reports in the British press
WE shall slowly return to covering patent issues, for they are certainly becoming a huge subject again, especially in light of renewed Apple lawsuits/aggression, corruption in the courtrooms (blindly favouring al patents), and distraction by the media (we covered all three just two days ago), not to mention software patents (and patent trolls) in Europe becoming a huge issue because EU patents may soon follow US criteria for acceptance. “New EU rules have been created which allow the judgments of new unified patent courts (UPCs) to have legal effect from early 2015,” says The Register. This is great news for trolls and also for patent lawyers who wish to see patent scope expanding.
Mr. Mark Bohannon (Red Hat lobbyist) has written a couple of articles in the past week. In them, Bohannon focuses on trolls (not the real issue) and also expresses little or no hope for imminent change in the US patent system. To quote: “Late last month, as you’ve likely read by now, the US Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) abruptly pulled consideration of a legislative patent reform package from consideration. For this year, at least, the prospect of addressing abusive patent litigation through Congressional action is on ice.
“The move by the Committee disappointed, even outraged, a broad coalition working for legislative reform.
“Reaction came not just from many in the technology and Internet innovation sector, which have been at the forefront of reform efforts. Consumer and civil society groups (EFF, Engine Advocacy, Public Knowledge) voiced deep concern.
“Reflecting the wide swath of the US economy that is affected by abusive patent litigation, the view of many in the mainstream of American business was that the SJC “chose special interests over jobs on main street.” Retailers noted that “withdrawing the patent reform bill is a victory for patent trolls.” They were joined by restaurant owners, home builders, credit unions, hotels and lodges, the gaming industry, and the online travel industry, just to name a few.”
The problem, however, is not “abusive patent litigation”, it is patent scope. It sure seems like even if a patent reform was passed in the US, it would be beneficial to large corporations but hardly help the public. In other words, not only is there no sign of improvement in the US; even if the said reforms were to pass, not much would have changed. The real solutions are totally off the table. This system is inherently rigged, probably beyond repair, which is why we started focusing on limiting its reach (e.g. to Europe) rather than fixing it before it spreads. █