And so it should be, fancy patenting one click. The patent examiner that didn't think that was obvious needed his head read. SW patents are evil and kill the very innovation they are supposed to encourage. SW is protected by copyright that offers better and more meaningful protection for the nature of it.
Well I'm not convinced first to file is fair but I certainly agree with Jerry Krinock that the same patent by 2 people does look a lot like obvious. I definitely agree that there needs to be a line drawn between deliberate and accidental infringement. That said, if you infringe my patent deliberate or otherwise and I tell you and you stop, why should I be due more than what I would have received for the use of the patent anyway? If you don't stop, then we go to court and then we get treble damages regardless of whether it was accidental or otherwise. Also they need to stop crazy commercially non-viable charges for use of a patent. There's actually more money to be made from a good idea that everyone uses than one that only a handful of people use. Look at the toner based photo copier, Xerox patented it, wouldn't let anyone else use the idea sold some ridiculously expensive copiers while many others sold millions of inferior copiers. If they would have charged say $50 for every copier sold using their technology, every copier in the world would have used the technology and $50 form every copier would have gone to Xerox. They would have maybe sold 1/2 as many copiers but would have made 10 times the money. People just don't understand how to make money.
I think we can use the biblical story of the Judgment of Solomon to resolve the first-filed vs. first-invented argument. If two people, working independently, file for the same idea within 12 months, then obviously the idea is obvious, and neither should get a patent.
It is good that David Kappos (of the Bilski vs. Kappos fame!) is in charge of the USPTO; though that case dragged on in the US Supreme Court (on software patents; EE Times had a series of articles on that last year), I liked the process that was put forth to define frame work for what is patentable (machine vs. transformation argument).
One thing that puts US companies at a disadvantage is that the patentability frame work defined here is NOT universally accepted in other countries. Many countries including Japan don't allow software patents so any 'method' or 'process' patent granted in US is invalid in many other countries. So the reforms discussed above do not address this issue or its equivalence at all!
This editorial is very interesting. It would be great to see multiple interpretations of the law. Many laypeople cannot understand the actual IP reform law firsthand, we need those who understand the law to describe the consequences in a non-biased manner. I am so glad EETimes has highlighted the issues through this author and want to know how we can all work to actually encourage innovation. Maybe patent law should be separated into two entities so that individuals and organizations can compete fairly. This way all voices can be heard and attended to...and I think it is interesting that money collected for IP licensing because it is capped is distributed elsewhere. We have to work with the current system because it is the only thing we have. I commend the legislators and individuals who are paying attention and doing their part to make a difference instead of letting the "it's too hard" scenario kick in. This article motivates me to want to spread the word to improve the reform and prevent damage that it would cause. I also wonder what good things does it do from another perspective?
The biggest problem that I have with "patent reform" is that the issue has become politicized. The people speaking the loudest are the ones with a personal agenda. Like other highly politicized subjects, it has become very difficult to determine what's good for innovation and what's not.
For those that happen to have an aptitude in law, perhaps it's not too difficult to weed through the morass of slanted and misdirected information. But I don't have that luxury.
Why weren't inventors involved in the creation of this bill? Or was it just big business/lawyers? I am always leery of "new" bills to "fix" things that are done with limited input from those affected. I am soundly against the first to file concept, the first to invent should be the rightful owner period!
I love to read about patent news in America. If patents development is not supported in America then it would be supported nowhere. I smell more politics than research and development in patent reforms.
I doubt if anyone disagrees that first-to-invent is a noble concept. However, in actual practice it gives the large company a distinct advantage because they tend to be able to more easily show when invented while the individual generally has a tougher time proving that. In turn, this also drastically slows down the whole patent process. I believe the idea is to protect the inventor, but under first-to-invent, the speed of the process is such that individuals and small companies often simply run out of steam before the patent is awarded. First-to-file will at least give those a reasonable chance for success.