Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The wrong patent reform

Business Insider asks a potent question: "Is Congress Trying To Kill American Innovation Through Patent Reform?" Here's the important point from the article:
A new bill - the America Invents Act (formerly the Patent Reform Act of 2011) -is making its way through Congress. It would change America's inventor-friendly patent system to favor whoever files for an application first.

As Clyde Prestowitz, writing on his blog at Foreign Policy, points out, America's penchant for invention is due in large part to its patent system, which grants the original inventor patent rights even if another person or corporation files for the patent first.
I'm in favor of patent reform, especially related to "software" patents. But changing the system so that the first person to file "wins" is the wrong way to do this. I'm very concerned the AIA will lead to more patent "trolls" - even for non-"software" patents.

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