Herring and Patents - And no, I don't mean fish.

The other day I mentioned a chart from the Economist outlining the largest patent granting countries – with Japan coming out on top.

The Intellectual Asset Management Magazine also picked up on the online chart and added some additional thoughts to the debate concerning software patents.  They posit that it is the certainty of the legal protections afforded rather than the existence of protection for information technology that ensures a competitive industry.  In other words, patent protection for software is a debate that has little, if anything, to do with maintaining open and competitive IT industries.

Some food for thought…

Is the software patent debate a red herring?

That said, the EIU sees the legal infrastructure in a country as being much less important than other factors, such as IT infrastructure, human capital, R&D environment and support for IT industry development. Of course, it could be that all of these are actually affected by the IP infrastructure of a country (in other words, for example, maybe a company is more likely to invest in R&D or to attract funding for R&D, if the right IP protection is available); but it could also well be that, if the EIU is right, the vitriolic nature of the debate around software patents is actually little more than hot air because, in the end, as long as there is legal certainty – of whatever kind – other factors are far more important in ensuring strong competition in the IT industry. (Emphasis added)




Software patents should be abolished altogether. Canada is one country, among a growing number of them, that does not allow for patenting of software per se. Because most, if not all major software companies are American, the US government actively lobbying for proliferation of software patents. http://www.pinskylaw.ca

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