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February 7, 2008

Zen Valor

The Financial Times posted an opinion piece by Patti Waldmeir that surmised Congress just contemplating patents is just about right.

At such a time of uncertainty, inertia may be the better part of valour: Congress has wasted years not solving the patent problem; it is hard to see why lawmakers should rush things now, when the only problems left to resolve are the really hard ones.

Waldmeir fingered a hyperactive judiciary as the action figure -

[M]uch of the heavy lifting on patent reform has already been done by the courts. While Congress has bickered and blathered, the least democratic branch has done much of the work of the people, stepping in with a series of landmark patent rulings that have undermined the excessive clout wielded by patent holders, with rulings that strip them of the automatic right to shut down their rivals' businesses when they infringe (eBay v MercExchange, 2006) and tighten the standard for proving that an invention deserves patent protection in the first place (KSR v Teleflex, 2007).

If you think that Congress was serious about patent reform, you were conned. Stiff opposition to damages apportionment precludes passage into law; yet the provision remains in both House and Senate versions. The ruse is to hustle lobbying money, then shrug at the end of the day about stiff wind, and hey, thanks for your support, let's go have a stiff drink.

Posted by Patent Hawk at February 7, 2008 12:24 AM | The Patent System

Comments

Hawk,

I agree. Congress is clearly late to the party, so to speak.

"...let's go have a stiff drink."

When S1145 dies, not with a bang, but a whimper, I'll crack open that bottle of 20 year old Pappy Van Winkle.

Posted by: JD at February 7, 2008 6:00 AM