Monday, September 04, 2017

Will Andrei Iancu be more "pro-patent" than Michelle Lee?

A story on patents in the Financial Times ends with the text

Still, the pendulum may be about to shift again. The Trump administration has nominated Andrei Iancu, an LA-based lawyer who has worked with clients in both pharma and Big Tech, to be head of the USPTO. The US Supreme Court will also soon hear a case questioning the legality of the entire non-court patent adjudication system.

It will be a chance for lawmakers to think about exactly what kind of digital ecosystem they want to create.


Of Andrei Iancu, Law360 wrote:

In the 2008 article [in JPTOS], co-authored like most of his writings with an associate at his firm, Iancu noted that the rapid pace of development in the software industry makes it difficult for the patent office to search for prior art. That means that patents of "suspect validity" are often used as a "bargaining tool to charge exorbitant fees" from those who license them, he wrote.

"Since computer software, in its most base form, is nothing more than a series of algorithms and mental processes, it is not clear that software, in any form, is patentable subject matter," Iancu wrote, adding that "it may be up to Congress to rescue the patentability of computer programs — if that is deemed desirable."

Later, in a 2010 article in the Northwestern Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property, Iancu noted the importance of software to modern technology and suggested drawing a distinction between patents on software and those on methods of doing business.

"Software patents present an altogether different set of issues than business methods, and the two need not be addressed in the same way,” he wrote. “Lumping the two together creates a risk that the patentability of software will be unnecessarily limited.”



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