The Biggest Technology Give-Away in History?

Manny Schecter, Chief Patent Counsel of IBM, argues in his article “The Downside of Making Innovation Look Easy” (http://recode.net/2016/04/08/the-downside-of-making-innovation-look-easy/) that we risk damaging one of this country’s most innovative and successful industries because our patent system now makes it too difficult to obtain and enforce patents for legitimate computer-implemented inventions.  Mr. Schecter says we “must find a way to course-correct before irreparable harm is done in order to continue to promote innovation and the creation of newer, better computer technology.”

That Mr. Schecter, one of the most world’s most astute experts on computer patent protection, and an expert not known to engage in hyperbole, is sounding an alarm like this , should tell us all that something is terribly wrong with the direction taken by the Supreme Court and the Federal Circuit in the five years.

As Mr. Schecter points out, the Federal Circuit has found ineligible the patents on computer-implemented inventions in all but one of the last few dozen or so patent cases it has considered.

Sadly, Mr. Schecter is not being overly dramatic.  In point of fact, US jurisprudence on patent eligibility for computer-implemented inventions is fast becoming the laughingstock of the world IP community.  Worse yet, the court that once helped spearhead the expansion of the US’s lead in computer technology is now aggressively facilitating what may someday come to be known as one of the most massive give-aways of US technology in our history, and perhaps one of the biggest technology give-aways of all time.

 

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