Monday, October 08, 2007

Washington Post editorial: Patent Fight

The editorial begins: "Nothing Congress deals with is more eye-glazing than patent law, a hypertechnical thicket of such concepts as "prior art" and "non-infringing alternatives." Yet it is crucial to the economic interests of ordinary Americans. Income and jobs depend on innovation," but quickly paints patent reform as a fight between IT and pharma: But the central struggle is between companies such as Cisco Systems, Microsoft and Apple Computer on one side, and the pharmaceutical industry on the other. Universities and small inventors don't count at the Washington Post.

The Washington Post gets into post-grant review: A key feature of the pending legislation is "post-grant review": the right of third parties to challenge an already-granted patent without going to court. This would provide a needed opportunity to weed out low-quality patents. The editorial does NOT mention the already existing re-examination procedure, or the "second window" still in S. 1145.


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