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Kahin, Firstmonday: Info. Process patents in US and EU policy



Hi!

http://www.firstmonday.dk/issues/issue8_3/kahin/index.html

Information process patents in the U.S. and Europe:
Policy avoidance and policy divergence.
Brian Kahin, Firstmonday March 2003


Abstract
Patents on software and business methods appear to have a pivotal
position in today's economy, yet they have remained a policy backwater
in which scope of patentable subject matter has expanded without
legislative input. This is changing as Europe struggles with patent
reform. A push by the European Commission to validate and promote
software patents has been opposed by many companies and
professionals, and especially the open source community. In this
process, it has become clear that Europe opposes the broad
non-technical patents on business methods that are now available
in the U.S., signaling a major rift in international standards of
patentability.

Recent hearings held by competition agencies in the U.S. show severe
problems of overpatenting that extend beyond software to much of the
ICT sector. These problems have been ignored by the Commission,
which despite a pro forma effort to address economic issues, clearly
feels more comfortable framing the issue in legal terms. In outlining what
a properly developed policy framework would look like, the paper
stresses the need to understand why software is different from other
technologies, why the disclosure function of the patent system is failing,
the build-up of risk and uncertainty and its effect on industry structure,
and the international political economy of information process patents.


-- 
  Mvh. Carsten Svaneborg
http://www.softwarepatenter.dk


 
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