We Need To Fix Software Patents

In an interview published this week on Managing IP, outgoing USPTO Director David Kappos said: “There’s been a lot of controversy over the smartphone patent wars and section 101 on the software side and all of that is important, but there’s also an operational aspect to it.”

David Kappos
David Kappos

He added: “We already have several initiatives underway, including roundtables on the east and west coasts, but that’s going to need to continue. We’re not done until the software industry says we got it right.”

He also provided two bits of advice to his (as yet unnamed) successor: listen to your stakeholders and use their guidance and partner with your workforce, especially labor unions.

Software patents have been an anathema in the European community and spotty elsewhere in the world.  The U.S. has been favorably prosecuting software patents since the State Street Bank decision in the early 19080’s.

The fix is unlikely to come from the USPTO but the courts.  To add to the confusion, the new America Invents Act has just changed most of the patent system.  The courts will probably be busy for years just adjudicating the new laws, let alone “fixing” software patent issues.

The phrase “may you live in interesting times,” comes to mind.

How Can I Help?

If you, or someone you know, need advice on untangling the laws regarding copyrights, patents, trademarks or research, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation by sending me an email or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities.  Connect with me on Google +



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