Bonum Certa Men Certa

Patent Reform Gets the 'OK'

It's good news and a small step in the right direction

The House has just approved the making of changes to the patent system. Here is the press release and here is one among the many articles with a selective extract below:

A ban on "tax planning" patents: Since a 1998 court ruling that allowed patents on business methods, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has awarded some 50 such patents that relate to tax strategies, including how to minimize or defer one's tax liability. A narrow provision in this bill attempts to prohibit such inventions from gaining protection.


It is worth mentioning that the White House remained rather hostile towards this bill.

The Bush administration argues that such an approach "would introduce new complications and risks reducing incentives to innovate."


In other patent news, the dispute between Nokia and the FTC continues.

"For the proper functioning of the standardisation process and continued industry innovation, Nokia believes companies should refrain from seeking injunctions for standards essential patents," said a Nokia statement, according to Reuters.


Mind the part about "standards essential patents" because the sooner this issue is resolved, the fewer mental barrier Free software will suffer from. Remember that OOXML, for example, while claiming to be "open" and "standardised", is also a patent bomb. The open source society in New Zealand wrote an entire report (whitepaper) about this.

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