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March 16, 2009


In case you haven't noticed from the last two entries, patents as a scourge is singing hot across the wires, the mainstream press replete with pleas from well-oiled machines that something must be done. In the months ahead, expect more of a focus on how gutting patents will "save jobs." Congress must act to get the patent stormtroopers back on their feet.

Posted by Patent Hawk at March 16, 2009 12:42 AM | The Patent System


Maybe they could start saving some jobs by ending some trade we're engaging in. Especially IT support "trade" with india etc.

Posted by: 6000 at March 16, 2009 4:37 AM

How about if we (meaning the good old US of A) just does some homework, makes some sensible decisions, provides better clarity and transparency for all players, and gets on with it?

Just look at how the EPO is dealing with the knotty but important question of software patentability. The EPO President has referred the question to the EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal for study and clarification. Mr. Brimelow's framing of the question is clear and concise. I expect that the answers will provide much clearer direction for inventors, litigants and courts in Europe than our muddled US administrative process and shifting case law.

Posted by: Carl Strathmeyer at March 16, 2009 6:18 AM

Yes Carl OK, but on 101 issues the EPO can do exactly what it pleases, and no court can tell it otherwise. National Patent Offices are not so fortunate. They have to do what they're told, by their respective Supreme Courts. On 101 issues, the EPO's "supreme court", its EBA, knows what it's talking about, right? But do any of the national Supreme Courts understand the issues?

Posted by: MaxDrei at March 16, 2009 6:41 AM

BTW, the EPO Enlarged Board of Appeals responded by soliciting third-party comments on Mr. Brimelow's four questions. Responses will be accepted through the end of April 2009.

Posted by: Carl Strathmeyer at March 16, 2009 6:48 AM

To MaxDrei's comment above:

Yes, of course, the EPO does not have jurisdiction over the national courts. I do not think that the EPO effort on software patentability will magically solve everything!

But if the EPO takes a clear and logical position on the question, perhaps it will serve as guidance for the national courts (and perhaps even other jurisdictions such as the US!)

Posted by: Carl Strathmeyer at March 16, 2009 6:53 AM

With you there Carl. Haven't we seen it often enough already, the influence that clear EPO positions can have, on other jurisdictions?

Posted by: MaxDrei at March 16, 2009 9:39 AM