Big news on the patent front

Summary:Europe has rejected a proposal on software patents, but that doesn't mean they won't happen. U.

Europe has rejected a proposal on software patents, but that doesn't mean they won't happen.

U.S. software companies wanted to make their faulty patent regime standard in the EC, but a committee of the parliament has now demanded a rewrite.

The new rule was too broad and too American, the EC decided. Patents should only be given on truly new inventions, not just algorithms, and not based on outrageous claims that hamper business.

Good news. But not the final nail in the coffin by any means.

Personally I think it's vital that this debate take place. In the U.S., software and business method patents were created by courts, without debate. Hopefully a legislative process will come up with something better. And, perhaps, if the result is better, we might want to import it.

What do you think? What would your patent regime look like, if you were King?

Topics: Patents

About

Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist since 1978, and has covered technology since 1982. He launched the Interactive Age Daily, the first daily coverage of the Internet to launch with a magazine, in September 1994.

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