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Senate Panel Backs Patent Overhaul Bill 243

mvar writes "A bill to reduce the likelihood of massive damage awards in patent disputes took a step forward with approval by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The committee voted 15-0 to back the legislation that would give judges a major role in determining how important a particular patent is to a product, so that infringing minor patents would not lead to huge damages. The bill (PDF) also gives patents to the first inventor to file, rather than the first to invent, making the patent application process easier for companies who apply for patents in multiple countries. This year, Microsoft, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and the Biotechnology Industry Organization support the patent legislation, while Dell, Cisco and others oppose it." Microsoft's blog post in support of patent reform calls for a quick review period for newly-granted patents and the acceptance of prior art submissions from third parties.
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Senate Panel Backs Patent Overhaul Bill

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  • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Cyberax ( 705495 ) on Friday February 04, 2011 @10:35AM (#35103150)

    I'm reading it and it's horrible.

    For comparison, Russia has a 'first-to-file' patent system. However there's a clause that earlier inventors receive an automatic license to use the patent, and it also could lead to patent's invalidation. I don't see anything like this in the new bill.

  • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Yvanhoe ( 564877 ) on Friday February 04, 2011 @10:50AM (#35103324) Journal
    But after 3 years of UK success, the UK manufacturer wants to compete in US. "No" says the patent troll, you got to pay the "foreigner tax" first.

    Having to pay a license to lawyers to be authorized to sell your own invention is not really what the patent system is supposed to be.
  • by nschubach ( 922175 ) on Friday February 04, 2011 @12:46PM (#35104496) Journal

    I vote for making it open knowledge (common/no patent) because if two people come up with the same solution, it must not be that unique.

  • by dgatwood ( 11270 ) on Friday February 04, 2011 @02:19PM (#35105468) Homepage Journal

    I would argue that independent invention without exposure to the other's work should simply invalidate the patent right off the bat. If two people are filing a patent on the same invention, unless they were working together at some point in the past or one of them stole research from the other in some way, that means the patent covers something that is obvious to a practitioner in the field, and is not patentable in the first place.

    We need a lot more patents thrown out for failing the obviousness test. Like about 98% of all patents filed. If we had stricter application of the obviousness test at the patent office instead of in the courtroom, patents wouldn't need reforming. That one single change in policy would almost completely eliminate patent trolls.

God doesn't play dice. -- Albert Einstein