In this blog, David Berlind's voice has often joined the chorus of rage against the patent machine. Will that chorus take heart in this week's developments? At a weekend conference, Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith reiterated his company's support for a rewrite of patent law that would make it easier to challenge patents after they're granted and to curb what Microsoft views as "abusive litigation." Smith's comments found support from Sanjay Prasad, Oracle's chief patent counsel. Yesterday, the head of the U.S. Patent and
Trademark Office endorsed some key changes just as a Senate Judiciary subcommittee kicked off hearings on patent law reform. But don't expect swift action, cautions Brad Huther of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. "This is not a problem that's going to be solved in a matter of years."