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[News] Another Opposer of Software Patents Become Nobel Laurette

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Economist Critic of Software Patents gets Nobel Prize

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| The FFII congratulates Eric S. Maskin, an economist who has long criticised 
| the patenting of software, for receiving the 2007 Nobel Prize for Economics. 
| Prof. Maskin and two colleagues receive the Prize for research into the 
| optimal design of economic mechanisms. By applying his theory to the IT 
| sector, Maskin demonstrated "that in such a dynamic industry, patent 
| protection may reduce overall innovation and welfare."     



A Bunch of Rocks



Intellectual Property Regime Stifles Science and Innovation, Nobel Laureates

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| Patent monopolies are believed to drive innovation but they actually impede
| the pace of science and innovation, Stiglitz said. The current “patent
| thicket,” in which anyone who writes a successful software programme is sued
| for alleged patent infringement, highlights the current IP system’s failure
| to encourage innovation, he said.
| Another problem is that the social returns from innovation do not accord with
| the private returns associated with the patent system, Stiglitz said. The
| marginal benefit from innovation is that an idea may become available sooner
| than it might have. But the person who secures the patent on it wins a
| long-term monopoly, creating a gap between private and social returns.


ICC calls on business to understand that IP is now a major political issue

,----[ Quote ]
| That said, there are a number of companies where there is IP awareness. The
| problem here though is that they see the IP system in so many different ways
| and want very different things from it. The recent Patent Reform Act debate
| in the US showed this very clearly. And what it also demonstrated is that
| when IP owners fight among themselves, it leaves very big spaces for people
| with a general anti-IP message to exploit; something that harms all rights
| owners, no matter what side of a specific argument they are on. The same
| thing happened in Europe with regard to the CII Directive and could well
| happen again if there is ever any political agreement on the Community patent
| and the European patent court.


$10K For Microsoft's Club Dues

,----[ Quote ]
| After Microsoft went public with its patent licensing specs the other day, I
| took a closer look at the agreements you have to sign -- and the cash you
| have to fork over. To license patents from any one Microsoft product, you
| need to pay $10,000 up front, no questions asked, on top of per-copy-sold
| duties for your product.
| It's about what I expected from Microsoft. Good on them that they allow you
| to peruse and make use of the protocols without charge if you just want to
| work with them privately and not develop something that's going to be
| released to others. But everything outside of that requires payment -- and
| that $10K entry dues per Microsoft product is a great way to keep all of the
| noncommercial open source players out of the game.


WIPO patent committee embarks on positive agenda

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| The fact that the WIPO patent committee has decided to request the
| International Bureau studies on “exceptions from patentable subject matter
| and limitations to the rights, inter alia research exemption and compulsory
| licenses” and “patents and standards” is testament that the WIPO of 2008 is
| not the WIPO that invoked “Intellectual Property as a Power tool for
| Development”.
| Here below is the Annex to the Summary by the Chair which lists the eighteen
| non-exhaustive list of issues for further elaboration and discussion in the
| future. This list includes such topics as “Economic impact of the patent
| system, Alternative models for innovation, Patents and health (including
| exhaustion, the Doha Declaration and other WTO instruments, patent
| landscaping) and Relation of patents with other public policy issues.”


Open Parliament

,----[ Quote ]
| In private a government delegate compared
| Microsoft's public affairs methods with the scientology cult.

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