Sembra che anche in America ci sia aria di riforma sui brevetti e ci sono proposte di legge in atto…

Thursday, Congressman Lamar Smith introduced the Patent Reform Act of 2005 to the floor of the House.
The bill modifies how patent owners are identified, how patents are awarded, disclosed, disputed and what damages patent holders are entitled to from infringement.

In effetti e’ uno dei piu’ grossi cambiamenti dal 1952 riguardo alla legge sui brevetti, e come sempre anche questo divide le opinioni.

Smith says that the proposed changes would eliminate “legal gamesmanship” that disrupts the operations of high-tech companies and that the changes will improve the overall quality of patents.
Smith also believes that an upsurge in innovation will come as a result; although, critics of the bill say that it will have a negative impact on technology start-ups and favor big business.

Il dibattito sui reali effetti di queste modifiche e’ molto acceso, e occorre sapere anche che Microsoft e’ una delle sostenitrici del cambiamento nei brevetti

Non sono un esperto di brevetti all’americana, ma un punto tra i cambiamenti proposti salta subito all’occhio:

If enacted, the Patent Reform Act of 2005 would:

  • Provide that the right to a patent will be awarded to the first inventor to file for a patent who provides an adequate disclosure for a claimed invention;

  • Simplify the process by which an applicant takes an oath governing the particulars of an invention and the identity of the rightful inventor;

  • Delete the “best mode” requirement from §112 of the Patent Act, which lists certain “specifications” that an inventor must set forth in an application;

  • Codify the law related to inequitable conduct in connection with patent proceedings before the PTO;

  • Clarify the rights of an inventor to damages for patent infringement;

  • Authorize courts with jurisdiction over patent cases to grant injunctions in accordance with the principles of equity to prevent the violation of patent rights;

  • Authorize the PTO to limit by regulation the circumstances in which patent applicants may file a continuation and still be entitled to priority date of the parent application;

  • Expand the 18 month publication feature to all applications;

  • Create a new post−grant opposition system;

  • Allow third-party submission of prior art within six months after the date of publication of the patent application.

Sembra che attualmente la legislazione americana non obbligasse le aziende che prendono brevetti a comunicare pubblicamente di aver brevettato tale invenzione, mentre adesso entro 18 mesi dall’accettazione del brevetto dovrebbero farlo… a quanto ho capito…

“Under current law, savvy start-up companies can keep their technology secret in the Patent Office for several years.
These few years of secrecy – during which the companies can keep their technology away from their competitors while, at the same time, pursing patent protection and readying their product for market – can be crucial for business success.
Perhaps the current proposal will have the same fate as a similar proposal which Congress considered – and defeated – a few years ago,” said Krebs.


-> Sweeping U.S. Patent Reform Proposed
-> Microsoft calls for Patent Law Reform