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Obama To Sign 'America Invents Act of 2011' Today 244

ideonexus writes "President Obama will be signing the 'America Invents Act of 2011' into law today at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Va. The bill will transition America from a 'first-to-invent" to a 'first-to-file" country, but critics argue that the bill fails to address the more important problem that 'nobody can tell what a patent covers until they've spent months or years working it out, often in the courts.'"
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Obama To Sign 'America Invents Act of 2011' Today

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  • by gameboyhippo ( 827141 ) on Friday September 16, 2011 @11:00AM (#37420430) Journal

    How about first to do both. You would have to have an invention before you can file. Otherwise, I'm patenting time travel.

  • Honesty in naming (Score:4, Interesting)

    by roman_mir ( 125474 ) on Friday September 16, 2011 @11:15AM (#37420676) Homepage Journal

    Again, I just posted on this in the previous story [].

    HONESTY IN NAMING. Give that bill's number, make them read it. Of-course this will do nothing for Obama's reelection, but this "America Invents Act" will do nothing for inventions in America.

    There are 152 PAGES in that bill. (PDF warning) []

    152 pages. You'd think to have America "inventing" you wouldn't need that. What you'd need is to stop punishing people for investments with inflation, taxes, regulations and insane spending, like that on wars. How about ABOLISHING the patent system altogether and abolishing all patents and refunding those that are pending by the way? Having a freer society, so that people could ACTUALLY INVENT AND INNOVATE without FEAR of being SUED?

    You think they'll stop wars in that bill? You think they'll stop inflation and encourage underconsumption, savings and investments?

    Please. It's about dates of filing, it's about law suits. It's about more government protections given to large corporations. It's about lawyers.

    The only 'innovation' that will be promoted by this bill will be lawyer innovation, innovative ways to file MORE LAWSUITS.

    That's all this is going to do - more lawsuits and actually less innovation and fewer inventions, as always the exact opposite of what the bill is named.

  • Best Suggestion EVAR (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Kamiza Ikioi ( 893310 ) on Friday September 16, 2011 @11:18AM (#37420728)

    I was listening to a TWiT tech podcast, don't remember which one or who said this, but... They asked for one thing in a software patent... working demonstration code.

    Immediately, light bulbs were going off for me. Finally, that might solve some abandon-ware problems. Forces companies to actually make a practical use idea (rather than, "two taps does a different action than one tap" patent, and yes, that's a real patent). And, above all, satisfies what patents were originally intended for. Protecting innovation, but also, sharing that idea with others who can improve it... and a significant improvement on someone's patent is itself, patentable.

    More than anything, this would also expose frivolous patents. You have to actually MAKE the product or at least a demo before you can patent it. And, code can be checked with an algorithm to see if it already exists. That would be a fabulous tool for dev shops who could check all sorts of software, and get an immediate response with a quick code search.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 16, 2011 @11:49AM (#37421096)

    I can't find the original PDF that I had, but this blog has a copy of a letter that the CEO of OnLive wrote, condemning this legislation. He holds a number of patents that are used throughout the tech industry, and describes from a real life example (motion capture) how first-to-file would have ruined it.

  • Re:America Invents? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 16, 2011 @12:00PM (#37421262)
    This bill is a scam. Included is a provision to bailout a law firm. They missed a patent deadline but with this bill, congress is giving them a pass and applying the patent retro. Its a big win for the law firm who's take from this will be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
    And yes, they gave heavily to Obama...
  • If that disclosure thing is correct, and the courts actually see it that way, then this system is much better. First-disclosed is much better for the community than first-invented or first-filed. It's an incentive to actually report new inventions, so that everyone can eventually benefit from them.

    Agreed... There's one slight wrinkle, however...

    In the US, you now have that encouragement to disclose your new invention immediately, to prevent anyone else from filing a patent application on it. You still have one year to file your patent application. HOWEVER, there's no one-year grace period in Europe under the EPO rules: as soon as you disclose your new invention, that disclosure is prior art to any patent application of yours, even if you file the following week. So Europe actually discourages disclosure prior to filing (and so do some other countries).

    So, say you're Nokia, with manufacturing in Europe and a major market in the US... What do you do? Disclose then file, or wait to disclose until you file? The former destroys your rights in Europe, while the latter makes it possible for others to file first and block your application.

  • Re:America Invents? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RenderSeven ( 938535 ) on Friday September 16, 2011 @12:54PM (#37421908)
    Actually a little Google backs it up. Try HERE []

    Looks like Medicines Company would make $65m in fees under the new provisions. Although I cant verify that anyone donated significantly to Obama. They run their own PAC but doesnt look like significant money. Then again, politicians can be bought for nothing these days.

Thufir's a Harkonnen now.