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.

Monday, September 01, 2014

ALSA drops "ice bucket" trademark attempt


Well, thankfully, the ALSA (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association) did pull its trademark application for “ice bucket challenge”.  Fortune has a story by Tom Huddleston, Jr. here.  Vox Media offered a tweet when ALS first attempted to TD it.     One legal problem is that ALD would have been trying to trademark something had not invented itself.  Erik M Pelton Associates had written about the legal challenges here.  EMPA’s blog covers branding and social media so it very likely has other posts relevant to me;  I’ll check later.   I had written about the idea that the ice bucket challenge is a bit manipulative on my main blog Aug. 26.