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Patents Government

FTC Chairwoman Speaks On Growing US Patent Problem 87

ectoman writes "In a recent policy speech, Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez indicated that the FTC might be preparing to seriously address patent abuse in the United States. Mark Bohannon, Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Global Public Policy at Red Hat, has reviewed Ramirez's remarks, calling them 'some of the most direct and specific to date from a senior U.S. Government official regarding "harmful PAE [patent assertion entities] activities."' Bohannon writes that the FTC's proposed roadmap for patent reform 'is both ambitious and doable,' and he discusses how the agency could make its potential contributions to reforms most effective. The piece arrives one week after Bohannon analyzed other patent reform efforts currently ongoing in Washington—in a piece Slashdot readers have been discussing."
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FTC Chairwoman Speaks On Growing US Patent Problem

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 01, 2013 @10:12PM (#44161383)

    Patents are more and more being used as weapons to stop any and all progress of any derivative idea that results from the base idea being patented. The system has been corrupted to stop many inventions that could save lives, and overall better happiness of mankind for the sake of the patent holders keeping their money-making works owned by their masters... FOREVER.

    How can the patent process be used to give influence to create new ideas, works. There is none! no new antibiotics, no cures for illnesses, no new chemicals no nothing as long as the patent process is corrupted the way it is!

    Case .. Mickey mouse... Q. E D

  • by Tough Love ( 215404 ) on Monday July 01, 2013 @10:47PM (#44161615)

    Patents and scumbags are both problems.

  • by Camael ( 1048726 ) on Monday July 01, 2013 @11:24PM (#44161807)

    If you read her policy speech, her focus is on the need to rein in "Patent Assertion Entities" ("PAE"), defined as "a firm with a business model focused primarily on purchasing and asserting patents". And she talks about solutions such as making it easier/cheaper to defend against frivolous lawsuits etc.

    She does not appear to address, or even acknowledge the key underlying problem with the patent system, namely that right now it is too easy to file for and obtain frivolous, undeserving, non-novel or obvious patents. All the powers the patent trolls have stem from the patents they are granted. Cut down on the number of patents issued and you cut down on the abuse that follows.

    This will not only cut out the PAEs, but also lessen the ability of legitimate companies to kill off their competition by abusing their patents, such as when Samsung/Apple/HTC/Huawei/Motorola try to block the importation/sale of each other's products on the basis of patents.

  • by AK Marc ( 707885 ) on Monday July 01, 2013 @11:59PM (#44161911)
    All 3 are IP, all 3 are broken (though to differing degrees).
  • by EzInKy ( 115248 ) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @12:12AM (#44161963)

    Yes, that is the nature of patents, but you have to admit that they are far better than copyrights. Patents only deny humankind of advances for 20 years or so, copyrights prevent others from building upon previous work for lifetimes plus more.

  • by litehacksaur111 ( 2895607 ) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @12:26AM (#44162055)
    Compaines are filing patents and then forming subsidiaries in tax haven countires. The companies licence the patent to the subsidiary and book all the profits in that low tax country. The companies then just show operating losses in the US.
  • by mjwx ( 966435 ) on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @01:18AM (#44162345)
    Software is almost entirely a mathematical construct. We dont allow patenting mathematical constructs because they are far too logical and replicable. Anyone looking to do the same thing will logically take the same path with no knowledge of any prior art.

    So you dont understand patents, software or more likely, both.

    Patents are meant to encourage innovation by providing a limited monopoly. The key words in there are "encourage" and "limited". Patents are not meant to provide a means of extorting other businesses nor are they meant to last for ever. The price of the limited monopoly is that the patent passes into the public domain after a set number of years. Patents are also required to be unique, code is too easily replicated by someone with no knowledge of the patented code to meet this requirement.

    Then at we'd be back to enjoying the benefits of the system that worked rather well for hundreds of years.

    LoL, you also dont know your history.

    Patent systems are radically different to the systems you claim "worked" and we haven't had the same system for 100's of years. The current iteration started around 50 years ago with most of the abusive changes added in the last 20.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 02, 2013 @05:16AM (#44163225)

    How much of that progress is really because of the patent system?

    Some people think a lot of that progress is because of tea:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea_in_the_United_Kingdom#Industrial_Revolution [wikipedia.org]
    Others think it is because of the potato: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/How-the-Potato-Changed-the-World.html [smithsonianmag.com]

    With the potato more people could stop worrying about feeding themselves. When one farmer can feed more people it means those people can do other things.

    Back then patents in the USA were for 14 years. If nowadays the rate of progress is really getting faster and communication & distribution is more efficient I would think patent and copyright terms should be getting shorter and shorter rather than longer.

Friction is a drag.