Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Patent reform: " people who need patents versus people who don't need patents."

In an article appearing in The Register, Steve Perlman criticizes various aspects of patent reform 2007 (HR 1908 / S 1145).

Of the motivation for patent reform:

Many in the press have painted the bill as a battle between high-tech businesses and pharmaceutical businesses, which generate so much revenue from patent licenses. But in Perlman's eyes, it's a fight between large tech companies and everyone else, including small tech companies.

"This is isn't pharm versus high-tech," he said. "This is people who need patents versus people who don't need patents."

Of first-to-file:

Filing a patent is expensive, he points out, and with a first-to-file rule in place, startups don't have the dough to cover all their bases. "In a first-to-invent country, if you have 25 ideas on a whiteboard, you don't have to file 25 patents. You don't even file when you whittle it down to 12. You file when you're down to five really good ideas."

"In a first-to-file company, you can't do it that," he continued. "You have to file all 25 ideas, just in case one of those turns out be the right idea." And each patent costs you $10,000. "The cost of invention is less in a first-to-invent country."

Of the sneaky way patent reform went throught the House:

"They're gathering the troops," Perlman said. "They're saying 'We're not going to let this thing slip through the Senate the way it slipped through the House.'"

See also

HR 1908: bad for start-up companies?


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