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Thursday, April 19, 2007

New legislation would overhaul U.S. patent system

According to InfoWorld new legislation would overhaul U.S. patent system.

One of the details states

It would award patents to people who first file for the patents instead of those first to invent, 

Does this make sense? I assume that this is intended to head off the litigation about "prior art" (i.e. who invented it first lawsuits) but this is ridiculous. The US patent system does need changes in the face of current technology but that is not one of them.

This exchanges one problem for another. This forces extra secrecy around any innovation for fear that others will run out, patent your own idea, and force you to pay royalties for it.

How can any company in the technology sector work that way? They could not share upcoming plans or features for products. They could not even collaborate to create open standards because anyone could go out and patent it.

The one thing that the bill includes which is sorely needed is more funding for the patent office so they can reliable investigate claims.

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