Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Pending issues in patent law, Microsoft v. AT&T and PDQ

SFGate has an interview with Brad Smith of Microsoft on patent issues. Portions include:

One of the most immediate issues to hit the news will be his appearance before the Supreme Court in two weeks, where the case of Microsoft v. AT&T will be argued. Smith won't be doing the arguing; Microsoft has hired former Solicitor General Ted Olson, a veteran of many Supreme Court appearances.

In the case, which Microsoft has already lost at the Court of Appeals, Smith said Microsoft is arguing that U.S. patent law cannot apply to overseas manufacturing. Microsoft created software that had some technology for which AT&T owned the patent. It shipped the software to Ireland, where the discs were made for mass market consumption. Microsoft has already settled the claims in the U.S., but said the U.S. cannot enforce the patents overseas.

Beyond that case, Smith said Congress is likely to address patent reform, and he sees the "Supreme Court is taking more patent cases, as the patent system becomes more important to our economy."

Look at IPBiz for a previous interview:

****Separately, of patent reform

Boucher said the PDQ bill would focus on administrative reform at the USPTO, as well court reform.

"Examiners have more work than they can reasonably handle," he said. "There are just not enough of them and there is a lot of pressure on them."


Tim O'Reilly wrote:

Andy Oram writes about one that could be of interest to our audience:

The Community Patent Review (a phase of the better-known Peer to Patent project) is seeking to hire a top-notch Ruby on Rails programmer.

This is not an ordinary job posting; it’s a chance to get paid for public service. The project is developing software for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and is being closely watched in the UK too. It implements a process to let experts in multiple fields to submit prior art and other information related to patents.


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