Sunday, July 22, 2007

Bruce Sewall boosting patent reform in Arizona

Following his "Patent Nonsense" in the Wall Street Journal, Bruce Sewall of Intel has Patent reform important for progress, innovation in the Arizona Republic.

Not totally subtle is the text: While such an arcane issue as intellectual property might seem far from the core of Arizona's interest, nothing could be further from the truth. Right here in our backyard in Chandler, Intel has more than 10,000 employees who depend on intellectual property to protect their ideas andallow them the flexibility to find the next great discovery.

Moreover, Intel plans to invest another $3 billion in new local operations this year in the Valley. Patent reform will encourage innovation and growth within companies like Intel that serve as the backbone of Arizona's thriving technology industry.

Sewall does note mention those patent applications outsourced to intellevate, or the "out-of-country" employees of Intel.

Even though the NAS/STEP report found no evidence on the patent quality issue, Sewall wrote: As a result, a rising number of poor-quality patents are being issued.

Also, the patent system has unnecessarily become a burden on our courts with growing number of lengthy and expensive lawsuits. The number of patent lawsuits nearly tripled from 1991 to 2004, and the number of cases from 2001 to 2005 grew nearly 20 percent.

xconomy has a post

I believe the proposed patent reform act would stifle innovation, which already has many hurdles to overcome, particularly in the earliest stages (when foundational patents are filed). To arbitrarily limit damages and to make it easier to challenge patents shifts the balance further in favor of large companies and lowers the incentive of innovators and technology licensing offices at universities to file and support patents that could have an impact on healthcare, the environment and quality of life. I have heard that there are different views between biotech and information technology “innovators” on this subject and am curious if anyone from the technology (start-up or academic innovator) side can give his/her perspective. I understand how this could be helpful to large companies but how is this helpful to innovation?

Syscon has an article: US Patent Reform Bill Moves Out of Committee


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