No need for patent system overhaul, says Microsoft

Bart Eppenauer, Microsoft’s chief patent counsel:

“There are a lot headlines about the patent system being out of control and major changes being needed,” Eppenauer says. “While certainly there are areas for improvement in the patent system — in terms of what the U.S. Patent [& Trademark] Office can do and what the courts can do and what companies can do — this doesn’t mean you need, at least from our point of view, some sort of radical overhaul of the system or a complete change in the approach to certain technologies.”

Why am I not surprised.

  • gjgustav

    Software patents no longer help the little guy. All they do is enable trolls and large corporations. Time to get rid of them. Copyright and trade dress are usually much more appropriate to handle instances of copying.

  • Luděk Roleček

    Key words are “from our point of view”. Yeah, from a point of view of multi-billion corporation holding thousands of patents on everything imaginable. Now try to be a little guy with no money who just invented something awesome…

  • To be fair to Microsoft, the patent system doesn’t need a radical overhaul. What it primary needs is its existing rules to be enforced. Half of what the USPTO is rubber-stamping these days is unpatentable on its face according to their own guidelines.

    Part of it’s crappy enforcement, part of it is unqualified patent inspectors, part of it is the fact they’ve let the language in applications get so ridiculous that even qualified inspectors don’t recognize what they’re actually approving.

    • “The Congress shall have power…To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries…”

      The current patent system does not promote the progress of science and useful arts.