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The CIPO Summit is now in full swing at the IP Business Congress in Amsterdam. We had an excellent day yesterday, with a series of excellent presentations and debates focusing on the role of the chief intellectual property officer, and the challenges that those holding such a title – or an equivalent – currently face.
As time is tight I will not do a full report until after the event is finished. But I thought I would come on here and share a little snippet with you. At the evening reception I spoke to David Kappos, the head of IP law at IBM. I asked him about the company’s position on business method patents in light of the In re Bilski case currently before the CAFC. He told me that IBM was opposed to the current regime in the US and preferred the European model under which business method patents are almost completely unavailable. Yes, the owner of the world’s largest portfolio of business method patents, largely amassed since the State Street Bank decision of 1998, believes that they are bad and unnecessary.
Just to make sure that I had understood what he was saying correctly, I had a look in the amicus brief that Big Blue has filed with the CAFC in the Bilski case. And there it is in black and white on page 31: “The lack of a plausible justification for patents on abstract business methods, coupled with the anticompetitive consequences of issuing these patents, counsels that this Court clarify that patentable subject matter is limited to inventions involving technological contributions. Modern society’s dizzying pace of technological change, with its accompanying changes to marketplace conditions and commercial practices, should by no means lead to an alteration of these established principles.”
So there you go.
It is just a matter of time before IBM and others starts to revert their jacket on software patents.Benjamin Henrion, FFII on 26 Jun 2008