Could Patent Reform Actually Pass This Year?

from the doubtful,-but... dept

Every year for nearly a decade, we hear the same thing each January about how this is the year that "patent reform" will finally pass. And every year it goes nowhere. Then the following January, it comes back, and the proposal is slightly worse than it was the year before (and it was never that good to begin with). The problem, of course, is that we're dealing with a huge number of professions and industries who have grown up around the idea that they absolutely need and/or deserve government monopoly protectionism, even if the actual evidence suggest the system does a lot more harm than good. But, no politician is willing to actually step up and make the changes that are actually necessary to encourage greater rates of innovation. So, instead we get useless proposals that won't actually make the system better at all. For years, the proposals were such that the tech industry were okay with them, but the pharma industry was against them. More recently, the bill's been watered down so much that things have flip-flopped, with the tech industry no longer liking the proposal, and pharma being more open to it.

The latest is that the Senate Judiciary committee has approved some amendments to try to make everyone happy -- including Senator Schumer's surprise amendment that would allow for a pilot program to look at eliminating business method patents. It's nice to see that at least has a chance of moving forward, but the entire bill just seems to have so many bad or just watered-down ideas in it, that it's unlikely to matter much one way or the other. It's certainly not patent reform that fixes any of the real problems with the patent system.

Filed Under: patent reform, patents

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, 2 Mar 2011 @ 3:31pm

    Just To Be Clear ...

    .. is that “patent in your name” or “patent you actually own”?

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown for basic formatting. (HTML is not supported.)
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Copying Is Not Theft
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.