EFF Worried About Patent Reform Re-Exam Process

from the for-good-reason dept

While I'm obviously a strong believer in the idea that our patent system is fundamentally broken, I've also made it clear that the current plans for patent reform have a lot of problems. While it will fix a few things, it will also make other parts much worse, and will lead to even more abuse of the system. It's "reform" that's designed to simply patch a few things that are seen as problems, rather than recognizing the core, fundamental problems with the system -- and, thus, it will do little to help (and could hurt). The EFF, which supports this patent legislation generally, is complaining about another potential problem with the current reform package. As written, the patent reform effort would make it much more difficult for third parties to contest questionable patents in some cases. Basically, rather than allowing them to request a full patent re-exam, it will force third parties to use the newly created post-grant review system, which has some limitations. For example, it would mean that groups like the EFF would need to contest a patent within 12 months of it being issued. That's a problem, because it often doesn't become clear how problematic a patent is until much later. In fact, if this policy were in place, it would have made the EFF's patent busting project impossible. From the very start of the patent system, it was supposed to only be used in the rarest of circumstances. With that in mind, it makes sense to make the process for getting rid of bad, unnecessary and dangerous patents as easy as possible. It's unfortunate that the system has morphed into the exact opposite.
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Filed Under: eff, patent reform, patent review, patents, re-exams
Companies: eff


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  • identicon
    God, 7 Feb 2008 @ 5:57am

    Patent Everything.

    I am going to patent water.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anti-God, 7 Feb 2008 @ 7:04am

    Patent Nothing

    I am going to patent dehydrated water.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Feb 2008 @ 7:17am

    I'm going to patent facilitating the distribution and consumption of water electronically with a computer and other devices.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Feb 2008 @ 7:19am

    And then I can patent single click distribution and consumption of water electronically.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Thom, 7 Feb 2008 @ 7:52am

    I'll be rich

    I'm going to patent a process or method for steering legislation through the repeated application of financial inducements to select individuals in control of committees and offices that oversee and direct development and application of laws governing business and financial practices. Simultaneously, I'll apply for a patent for a process or method by which an individual or group of individuals in a position of power may solicit or accept financial or other remuneration in exchange for directing or redirecting the creation or enforcement of legislation in order to benefit an individual, group, or business.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Joe, 7 Feb 2008 @ 7:55am

    Then I will patent making discussion boards about patents pertaining to water.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Thom, 7 Feb 2008 @ 7:56am

    Prior art

    Yeah, there may be prior art, but how many senators, congressmen, lawyers, businessmen are going to come testify in a court that they have been using said methods and wish to continue and that my patents will cause them financial harm.

    Seriously, some enterprising patent attorney or maybe the EFF should write this up a little better (more legal and less clear) and attempt to patent it. Wouldn't that be a hoot if they succeeded.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Feb 2008 @ 8:22am

    Can I get a patent on combining Protons,neutrons and Electrons in different combinations? I think I start with 6 neutrons and 6 Protons in the center, circled by 6 electrons.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Aaron Martin-Colby (profile), 7 Feb 2008 @ 8:53am

    I love patents.

    Coincidentally, there's an article on the patent system on another site I read frequently. I immediately thought of you, Mike, after reading it. Although they use kinder words than you.

    http://www.american.com/archive/2008/january-february-magazine-contents/patents-pending

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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