Friday, February 21, 2014

US against Patent Trolls, is it effective?

The Obama administration declared that the White House would make efforts to suppress the abusive patent lawsuits, according to some media.

Financial Times: White House targets patent trolls (Subscribers only)

Politico: White House aims to undercut patent trolls

PC World: White House takes steps against patent trolls

To improve the system around patents, the White House suggested some policies, such as to make the information on existing patents more easily available, training for patent examiners to catch up newly technology, and supporting inventors who cannot hire a lawyer.

These performances sound rational to help innovation. I hear that patent rules are so complex that many engineers have tough time to deal with them also in Japan. However, I am doubtful whether their legislations will truly protect the innovators from malicious sues.

First, the more the government creates new rules, the more complicated the regulation will be. It means that it will be more difficult for technicians to understand the new legislation every time the government intervene. It is a dilemma of the constitutional state.

Second, American companies look as if they were patent trolls by the competitors. For example, Apple was quarrelling with Samsung regarding the patent around some architectures around their gadgets for a long time. As far as I know Apple was victorious in the USA. Even if Samsung perhaps stole some designs from Apple, the manner of Apple seems a little excessive.

My past entry: Legal battle of Apple and Samsung

Ironically, the US is a nation which has been making vast profits from patents for several decades. There is deep conflicts between the US and China, India, and some other countries. In negotiation around TPP, intellectual property is one of the biggest issues.

Formerly, some innovators such as Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, the inventor of X-ray, and Otoshiro Hamada, Japanese creator of Potato Chips abandoned the patents to help their new techniques more broaden. Do we have no room to show mercy in the modern competitive era?

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