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The Politicization Of The US Patent System

The Washington Post story, How patent reform’s fraught politics have left USPTO still without a boss (July 30), is a vivid account of how patent reform has divided the US economy, preempting a possible replacement for David Kappos who stepped down 18 months ago. The division is even bigger than portrayed. Universities have lined up en masse to oppose reform, while main street businesses that merely use technology argue for reform. Reminiscent of the partisan divide that has paralyzed US politics, this struggle crosses party lines and extends well beyond the usual inter-industry debates. Framed in terms of combating patent trolls through technical legal fixes, there lurks a broader economic concern – to what extent ordinary retailers, bank, restaurants, local banks, motels, realtors, and travel agents should bear the burden of defending against patents as a cost of doing business.


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    Nueva iniciativa ecuatoriana: combatir la piratería con programas informáticos libres

    Published on 17 May 2010 @ 8:42 pm

    By , Intellectual Property Watch

    Los programas informáticos libres se están utilizando como una alternativa legal para combatir la piratería de programas informáticos en un proyecto conjunto impulsado por una organización sin fines de lucro regional, en coordinación con el Instituto Ecuatoriano de la Propiedad Intelectual (IEPI). En este proyecto, se hace uso de las bibliotecas públicas para difundir los programas informáticos libres.

    En el marco del proyecto “Biblioteca Libre”, la Corporación Latinoamericana de Investigación de la Propiedad Intelectual para el Desarrollo, también conocida como Corporación Innovarte, firmó un acuerdo con el Instituto Ecuatoriano de la Propiedad Intelectual (IEPI), la Fundación para el Software Libre del Ecuador y la asociación de bibliotecas. La Corporación Innovarte apunta a promover el acceso a los conocimientos, la innovación y la cultura como herramientas para el desarrollo.

    Los programas informáticos libres se ofrecerán como parte de la colección habitual de cada biblioteca. La iniciativa difundirá los programas informáticos libres entre la población, con lo cual se cumplirán dos objetivos: ofrecer a las personas distintas opciones, respaldando así la “expansión de posibilidades educativas y de investigación”, y, por otra parte, contribuir a limitar el uso de programas informáticos ilegales.

    Según lo expresado por la Fundación para el Software Libre, los programas informáticos libres permiten al usuario “ejecutar, copiar, distribuir, analizar, modificar y perfeccionar los programas informáticos”. Para ello, el acceso al código de origen es un requisito previo. Las copias se pueden redistribuir con o sin modificaciones, a cambio de dinero o de manera gratuita, “a cualquier persona y en cualquier lugar”. Los programas informáticos libres atañen a la libertad y no al precio, es la definición del término por parte de la fundación, que además agrega, “libre tiene que ver con la libertad de expresión y no con una barra libre de cerveza”.

    Los defensores de los programas informáticos libres dicen estar a favor de los derechos de autor, ya que de ellos dependen tales programas.

    La iniciativa cuenta con el fuerte aval del IEPI en el Ecuador, según lo expresado por Luis Villarroel, director de la Corporación Innovarte y ex delegado de Chile ante la Organización Mundial de la Propiedad Intelectual. “El Instituto Ecuatoriano de la Propiedad Intelectual es el primero en aprobar una campaña de este tipo”, afirmó Villarroel a Intellectual Property Watch, y esta medida promueve el respeto por los derechos de autor ‘de una manera positiva y constructiva’”.

    El proyecto también ha desembarcado en Chile, aunque el Instituto Nacional de Propiedad Industrial de dicho país se muestra más reacio a “respaldar una campaña a favor de los programas informáticos libres”. En Chile, la ONG invitó a las bibliotecas a talleres de información y centró su atención en ellas en forma individual. Según Villarroel, las bibliotecas que aceptaron participar recibieron “uno o dos CD” con programas informáticos, que podrán prestar, reproducir o incluso modificar, si así lo desean. También agregó que Chile se ha volcado a las escuelas para la distribución de programas informáticos libres como parte de este proyecto.

    Por otra parte, existe una fase piloto del proyecto en Nicaragua, mientras que se han mantenido charlas con la asociación de bibliotecas del Uruguay para comenzar con el proyecto más adelante en 2010. La financiación del proyecto es todo un desafío, por lo que la Corporación Innovarte se esfuerza por reunir fondos adicionales. Es posible que se les ofrezca a las empresas de programas informáticos libres respaldar el proyecto a cambio de contribuciones en especie, manifestó Villarroel.

    Según Gina Brito, coordinadora del proyecto Biblioteca Libre en el Ecuador, el CD que se distribuye a las bibliotecas de dicho país contiene 19 programas distintos, cada uno de los cuales admite la plataforma Windows, además de ciertas alternativas de programas informáticos populares entre el público. Los programas informáticos se pueden instalar y cuentan con una guía de usuario.

    El nombre del proyecto es “Biblioteca Libre” y forma parte de la campaña “Legalízate”. Conforme a lo expresado por Andrés Ycaza Mantilla, presidente del IEPI, el significado de esta campaña es “legaliza la actividad que realizas mediante programas informáticos libres”.

    El IEPI desempeña un papel activo en el proyecto Biblioteca Libre, pero, según Ycaza Mantilla, “también respalda las campañas contra la piratería orquestadas por las organizaciones que apoyan los programas informáticos propietarios, como la Business Software Alliance”. La BSA presenta estadísticas anuales que exhiben pérdidas millonarias en ingresos como consecuencia de la piratería. No obstante, ciertas voces cuestionan que el cálculo se realice tomando la venta de precio completo de cada versión pirateada como perdida.

    Aún faltan precisiones en cuanto a la cantidad de bibliotecas involucradas en el proyecto, pero la intención del IEPI es contar con “tantas bibliotecas como sea posible”, aunque con un margen mínimo de infraestructura y organización al mismo tiempo, expresó Mantilla.

    Además, el IEPI “respalda las iniciativas en contra de la piratería por parte de la industria de los programas informáticos. Creemos que tienen un efecto positivo a la hora de combatir la piratería de programas informáticos en el país, y es nuestro deseo que otras industrias nacionales sigan su ejemplo y tomen medidas enérgicas para defender sus derechos de propiedad intelectual en el Ecuador”, indicó.

    Para este artículo se contó con la colaboración de William New
    .

    Catherine Saez may be reached at info@ip-watch.ch.

     


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    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website. By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website.

    By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    1. You agree that you are fully responsible for the content that you post. You will not knowingly post content that violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party or which you know is under a confidentiality obligation preventing its publication and that you will request removal of the same should you discover that you have violated this provision. Likewise, you may not post content that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, abusive, that violates a third party's right to privacy, that otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law, that amounts to spamming or that is otherwise inappropriate. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence are also prohibited. Furthermore, you may not impersonate others.

    2. You understand and agree that Intellectual Property Watch is not responsible for any content posted by you or third parties. You further understand that IP Watch does not monitor the content posted. Nevertheless, IP Watch may monitor the any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove, edit or otherwise alter content that it deems inappropriate for any reason whatever without consent nor notice. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on our site. IP Watch is not in any manner endorsing the content of the discussion forums and cannot and will not vouch for its reliability or otherwise accept liability for it.

    3. By submitting any contribution to IP Watch, you warrant that your contribution is your own original work and that you have the right to make it available to IP Watch for all purposes and you agree to indemnify IP Watch, its directors, employees and agents against all damages, legal fees and others expenses that may be incurred by IP Watch as a result of your breach of warranty or of these terms.

    4. You further agree not to publish any personal information about yourself or anyone else (for example telephone number or home address). If you add a comment to a blog, be aware that your email address will be apparent.

    5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

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    7. You acknowledge and agree that you use and/or rely on any information obtained through the discussion forums at your own risk.

    8. For any content that you post, you hereby grant to IP Watch the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive and fully sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part, world-wide and to incorporate it in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

    9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

     

     
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