09 October 2006

Bad, Bad Patent

First WIPO, and now this:

Businesses based on the licensing of patented technologies could be able to sue the owners of the patents while still using those patents if a biotech firm wins its landmark US case. The case could upend the basis of much US patent law.


While some argue that nobody is better positioned to assess whether or not a patent is valid than a licensee, there are worries that a precedent set by a MedImmune victory would create havoc. During the oral hearings one of the judges, Anthony Kennedy, said that a result in favour of MedImmune could "flood the courts" with cases.

I can't help feeling that this (possible) development is partly as a result of the constant hammering away by intellectual monopoly bores like me: even major companies like IBM and Microsoft are making noises about "bad" patents, and this case looks like it might be the tipping point for this discussion.

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