Monday, September 08, 2014

Cato discusses need for patent reform, especially for software patents


The Cato Institute (in “Cato Unbound: A Journal of Debate” offers a major essay by Eli Douardo on the need for patent reform.  The piece is titled “The true story of how the patent bar captured a court and shrank the intellectual commons”, link here.

The two biggest problems are that the federal circuit is the only appeals court that takes up patent cases, and that patent statutes remain too ambiguous as to what can be patented when it comes to intellectual processes (software).  Another problem is that it is difficult for another inventor to look up software patents.  The nature of the beast invites predatory trolling.

Further, the “trolls” may have the mentality that this is “just business”.  They’re all lawyers with families to support, right?  The irony is that “real life” thinking seems to drive predatory behavior rather than real competition.
  
The writer thinks that the patent problem has become a big drain on economic growth and “legitimate” jobs recovery, especially in some IT areas.

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