The changes favor big business of course. First to file means you've got to get your ducks in a row FAST and ,like with cars, is expensive.
Not a problem if you are one of the big players with deep pockets; but for the small firm or individual inventors it can be a problem.
it would be so easy to change. for example:
"if in X period of time you don't use your patent in some product then you'll lose it"
"you cannot patent what already exists"
why so simple things get so complicated? is it really hard to stop the applecrap lobby?
A better solution would be to completely outlaw software patents and patents on business models.
"Look and feel" can also be thrown out, unless one is also making an identical copy in an effort to confuse a customer into thinking it is the same device as the competitor's device.
Lastly, not only outlaw the patent of obvious things, but make attempting to patent obvious things punishable.
Like trying to patent clicking an icon on a phone to open an application. Of course this is how you would do it, just like a computer, but in the US, it is not obvious.
[citation][nom]pablo_max[/nom]A better solution would be to completely outlaw software patents and patents on business models. "Look and feel" can also be thrown out, unless one is also making an identical copy in an effort to confuse a customer into thinking it is the same device as the competitor's device. Lastly, not only outlaw the patent of obvious things, but make attempting to patent obvious things punishable. Like trying to patent clicking an icon on a phone to open an application. Of course this is how you would do it, just like a computer, but in the US, it is not obvious.[/citation]
I agree with what you are saying but until they change how the USPTO is funded, i.e., by the fees charged for filing patents, I doubt you'll ever see them do anything that could potentially decrease the number of patents filed as it would cut their revenue.
The gem in your statement is punishment for filing patents on everyday/common items. It could definitely help cut down on the trolling (I'm looking at you apple) and possibly provide another revenue stream that may help offset a potential loss in the number of patents filed.
[citation][nom]__-_-_-__[/nom]"you cannot patent what already exists"[/citation]
Yeah...about that. It's already true that you can't patent something that already exists. The reason you see so many new patents for old things is because the USPTO has a backlog ten years long.
To stop Apple patent trolling (and the patent trolling of others) they need to clamp down on what patents are actually issued. There are tons and tons of patents that are just totally obvious, which they aren't supposed to grant in the first place. They are also getting pretty damn liberal with design patents, which Apple is exploiting the hell out of to claim they are the only company on the planet with a right to make a black rectangular device with a screen.
[citation][nom]pablo_max[/nom]...Lastly, not only outlaw the patent of obvious things, but make attempting to patent obvious things punishable.[/citation]
Even prior to this crappy law, patent law was such that patenting the obvious was not possible. The trouble with that is that the patent examiners, i.e., the people at the patent office who decide on the validity of the patent application, do not make decisions on what is obvious. Those decisions are left up to the courts IF the patent is challenged.
The challenge in courts is what is happening between crApple (iCrap) and Samsung (Galaxy Tab) in Europe. Only this time it is backfiring on crApple as Samsung introduced evidence that tabs have been in movies and popular fiction for years. The result, Samsung can sell their tabs in Europe, and quite possibly, crApple may have their iCrap patent invalidated.
I agree with other posters in that this could hurt innovation on a small scale, i.e., small companies and individual inventors just starting out. Congress is taking the USPTO as experts on the matter when clearly the USPTO has only a one-sided view.
The lawyers in this country are rapidly developing an IP market. "You want to sell a touchpad? I can license you these 12 patents for only $10,000 per 1000 units up to 200,000 units, and then the price goes down to $6,000 per." And the scary part about that is that Congress probably views the creation of a market as a good thing! Free Market economy blah blah this, market forces and efficiencies blah blah that. But when it comes to patents, each one is like a little micro-monopoly. So it's not like device manufacturers can shop around (as the word "market" would imply) for the most cost-effective patent. Instead, they are forced to buy all patents in effect for their product, or get shut out of the market. And the worst of it is, these patent aggregators probably coerce tech companies into selling or sharing patents to them in exchange for lower royalty fees on other patents on which they claim those tech companies infringe. "Hey Samsung. Your TV infringes on our patent. We'll sell you a license for $20 per unit, or if you transfer patents 1, 2, and 3 to us with an unlimited lifetime license to you, we'll sell those other licenses to you for $1 per unit."
I'm getting angry just thinking about what this is doing. It's like blackmail, but legitimized and turned into a business model and market space. Go US Congress. Good job.
This is BS. Based on how it's described here, some patent troll can just skim academic literature and open source projects and patent everything they do. Then, they can shutdown the very open source project that came up with an idea and implemented it, since it's not a commercial operation.
Microsoft must have been very pleased with themselves for getting this one through.