Bonum Certa Men Certa

No Genuine Debates About Real Patent Reform, Just Covert Patent Expansion

Stuck in status quo

Jar on fence



Summary: The USPTO shows no real signs of changing; news still focused on the wrong questions; US-style patent system expands to other countries

THE USPTO has had a rigged debate going on to save face and Obama showed disinterest in new types of attitudes, so ignore his empty promises which the media continues to cover. Here is what the US president says:



Obama says patent reform needs to go farther



President Barack Obama, in an unusual foray into patent law, on Thursday said U.S. patent reform needs to go farther to address the trend of companies that do not manufacture any products aggressively suing other companies for patent infringement.


Notice how the 'pro-reform' people are for "limiting" patents, not eliminating them. So "if we have software patents, they should be limited to the actual algorithm disclosed by patentee," says this one person. It is similar to copyright then, patents are an overkill.

The debate has been rigged for a while now because lawyers easily outnumber developers in them.

Here is what one site said about the roundtable:

There are speakers on both sides of the software patent divide. Notable pro-reform speakers include Mark Lemley (Stanford), Colleen Chien (Santa Clara), Julie Samuels (EFF), Jon Potter (Application Developers Alliance) and Edward Goodmann (Hattery Labs).


Note that the lawyers at the USPTO call it "Software Partnership" and the introduction is rigged by design. It says:

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is forming a partnership with the software community to enhance the quality of software-related patents (Software Partnership). The Software Partnership will be an opportunity to bring stakeholders together through a series of roundtable discussions to share ideas, feedback, experiences, and insights on software-related patents.


The USPTO matters to everyone due to globalisation and its practices are spreading to New Zealand more quickly than one may realise. Here is some news from this island:

A long-running court action touching on copyright law’s provisions on “reverse engineering” of computer software has resulted in a victory for Fisher & Paykel Finance, the company accused of copyright and trade-secrets breach. The software provider, Californian company Karum, has, however appealed Justice Rodney Hansen’s decision.


The EU too is affected (same trend as such) and Simon Phipps, the British president of the OSI, continues to worry about the unitary patent when he writes:

Our leaders would have us believe the Unitary Patent is good for small business. But there seems to be a fatal flaw.


Phipps does a good job busting the myths, saying that a "small British company could find itself subject to court cases it can't understand in countries it can't afford to defend itself. Any patent holder in any one of the 27 EU countries can go to a local court and get a judgment in any one of the 23 official languages. Once Cable signs this agreement, the UK government agrees a judgment like this is enforceable against any UK business."

Trolls must love this.

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