06.08.07

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Patent Mess Highlighted, Remedies May Be on Their Way

Posted in America, Interview, Law, Patents, SUN at 1:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Last night we dropped a quick note on the shakeup in the USPTO. There are newer articles which appear to indicate that change is on its way. It’s validated by The Register.

Jon Dudas, director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, says applicants currently have a lot of discretion in how much information they provide to explain why their invention qualifies for patent protection. At present, he says, applications are made with widely varying amounts of information, ranging from “almost nothing” to what he describes as “malicious compliance”…

The issue is also being raised and discussed in a Wall Street Journal blog.

[Question:] Some people, like former Microsoft big wig Nathan Myhrvold, defend the rights of patent-holding companies, arguing that without full rights there is no way for small inventors to get big infringers to the table to settle. How do you respond to that?

[Answer:] The area of software patents is where you see most of the troll activity. Twenty years ago you weren’t able to patent software. As a result of the dot com crash, you see software patents out there that are being bought up for no other purpose than to derive revenues from companies. These aren’t inventors but are mostly lawyers and investors seeking a quick return. These patents in most cases are not being used to create products and innovation which is what our Founding Fathers had in mind when they established the patent system.

Last but not least, there is a reversal of an ITC decision.

Qualcomm Inc.’s chief executive said on Thursday that the company would ask the Bush administration to overturn an order… Another company official said Qualcomm was looking for ways to design around the patent at issue, owned by Broadcom Inc.

The story sounds familiar and solutions are hopefully on their way. Self-serving innovation panels have created a system that is truly a farce.

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