State of Innovation

Patents and Innovation Economics

How Competition Between Countries for Investment is Affected by Patents

Patrick Anderson at GametimeIP has an interesting post that explains investment in new technologies is affected by competition between the patent systems of countries.  He quotes Judge Rader as pointing out that

By creating obstacles to patent protection, the real-world impact is to frustrate innovation and drive research funding to more hospitable locations. To be direct, if one nation makes patent protection difficult, it will drive research to another, more accommodating, nation.

Anderson further explains:

Rader then recounts the tale of the European patent system, which he says “became known for subjecting [biotech] inventions to delays in the patent office, challenges in litigation, increases in cost, and uncertainties in the legal landscape.”  Consequently, Rader continues, “investors, corporations, and clinics shifted their research from Europe to the United States.”  Rader then warns that the tide can turn against the United States just as easily.

It appears that in these difficult economic times other countries are waking up to these facts.  The post talks about a Halliburton case in the UK in which the judge took a narrow approach to excluding software inventions.  The judge made this insightful comment:

Thus when confronted by an invention which is implemented in computer software, the mere fact that it works that way does not normally answer the question of patentability. The question is decided by considering what task it is that the program (or the programmed computer) actually performs. A computer programmed to perform a task which makes a contribution to the art which is technical in nature, is a patentable invention and may be claimed as such. Indeed in those circumstances the patentee is perfectly entitled to claim the computer program itself.

Please read the full post at GametimeIP.

 

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October 17, 2011 - Posted by | Patents | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Product Planning…

    […]How Competition Between Countries for Investment is Affected by Patents | Blog of Dale B. Halling, LLC – Intellectual Property & Patent Innovation, Attorney – Powered by Clvr.Tv[…]…

    Trackback by Product Planning | November 14, 2011 | Reply


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