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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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    German Parliament Sends Message: Stop Granting Software Patents

    Published on 22 April 2013 @ 9:26 am

    Intellectual Property Watch

    By Monika Ermert for Intellectual Property Watch

    The German Parliament has held a first reading of a joint motion against the growing trend of patent offices to grant patents on software programs. The resolution on “Secure Competition and Innovation in the software development,” obliges the German government to take steps to ensure that software is protected by copyright only and no additional patent protection is granted.

    The joint motion is here [pdf].

    The government also has to prevent damage to open-source projects from the race for patents, the resolution states. It follows a similar resolution from 2005 in which the Parliament also demanded the government to take measures that patent offices stayed in line with relevant provisions of the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), the EU Directive 91/250 and German copyright law provisions all of which established that software as such could not be patented.

    Yet despite these, over the years the situation has worsened, the German Parliament wrote, with the European Patent Office having granted up to tens of thousands of software patents and German courts favouring the practice in recent decisions.

    The German government is now asked, among other things, to push for an evaluation of the patent office’s practice, and further clarify the non-patentability of software in any upcoming review of directives. Jimmy Schulz, one of the initiators of the motion, warned that trivial patents or patents harm small and medium-sized software developers. The Foundation for a Free Infrastructure welcomed the decision and called it a strong message and a call to action to EU Commissioner Michel Barnier.

     

    Comments

    1. Stephan Freischem says:

      The draft motion has not been passed by the German Parliament but referred to the responsible committees.

    2. CatsVoice » Blog Archive » German Parliament Sends Message: Stop Granting Software Patents says:

      [...] Here (Intellectual Property Watch) [...]

    3. April 23, 2013 says:

      [...] German Parliament Sends Message: Stop Granting Software Patents Intellectual Property Watch The German Parliament has passed a joint motion against the growing trend of patent offices to grant patents on software programs. The resolution on “Secure Competition and Innovation in the software development,” obliges the German … [...]

    4. The European Patent Office is Breaking the Law Regarding Software Patents, German Parliament Finally Complains | Techrights says:

      [...] Here is a good take on the news: [...]

    5. German Parliament pushes to end software patents | Lawsof.Com says:

      […] For more information, please visit: http://www.ip-watch.org/2013/04/22/german-parliament-sends-message-stop-granting-software-patents/ […]


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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.

    6. You understand and agree that the discussion forums are to be used only for non-commercial purposes. You may not solicit funds, promote commercial entities or otherwise engage in commercial activity in our discussion forums.

    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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