01.31.11

The Patent Reform Act of 2011

Posted in America, Patents at 3:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Capitol

Summary: Senators Patrick Leahy, Orrin Hatch, and Chuck Grassley are said to be trying to change the way patent law is working in the United States

According to Patent Baristas (good site we have not cited in a while), patent reform is still on the agenda:

Senators Patrick Leahy, Orrin Hatch, and Chuck Grassley introduced The Patent Reform Act of 2011, which has been placed on the Judiciary Committee’s agenda for their first executive business meeting. The provisions and language of the bill look a lot like items in the long-pending legislation that were part of a compromise that was announced last Congress.

Sen. Leahy said that the new legislation is intended to accomplish three primary goals: (1) transition to a first-to-file system; (2) improve patent quality; and (3) provide more certainty in litigation.

There are much-needed changes as recently acknowledged even by political sites that got TechDirt‘s attention. Some days ago an idea related to software was patented again and covered by SDTimes, symbolising an ill system that refuses to heal itself:

TestPlant has received a United States patent for its testing software, eggPlant, which can test from one computer to another utilizing virtual networking and visual recognition, according to the company. The patent was granted on Monday.

CEO George Mackintosh said the U.S. Departments of Defense and Justice have been using eggPlant since 2003, when the software was created.

It is important to point out that those so-called ‘patent reforms’ are usually intended to limit the actions of patent trolls but never really to abolish software patents. That is why a lot more is needed.

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A Single Comment

  1. TemporalBeing said,

    January 31, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    Gravatar

    First-to-File is not necessarily a good thing. it just means that Microsoft would get the patent if they file before anyone else does, regardless of whether some else invented it before they did. First-to-Invent is a good thing; it may require a little more formality and structure to enforce but it really is a good thing.

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