Yesterday I posted a note discussing special interest groups in the patent reform debate. I noted three major coalitions forming:
1) Large high-tech / software companies, including Microsoft and Intel, with the goal of reducing the strength of patents. These companies have major patent portfolios, but fear small companies and individuals that may develop blocking patents. This group is also garnering support from denouncers of software patents.
2) Other large patent holders, including Big Pharma, with the goal of strengthening and streamlining patents by changing to a first-to-file system and encouraging a post-grant opposition.
3) Start-ups and individual inventors, with the goal of keeping the status quo.
I received a few of great responses from patent bloggers:
[Link] Russ Krajec correctly notes the irony in Microsoft taking the same position as the FFII. “FFII and their ilk have tirelessly protested, rallying their troops by proclaiming that the big software companies will exert their patents to harm the small companies. When the truth is uncovered, the big companies are actually intimidated by the small companies, not the other way around.”
[Link] Stephen Nipper takes issue with my interest group #3 — Steve notes that “small entities in general support reformations to the patent system in fact, small entities support a number of the current proposals. HOWEVER, they will not support those ‘reforms’ proposed by large entities for no purpose other than to avoid liability/damages.”
[Link] Always able to bring parties together, Matt Buchanan notes that Steve is right and that I am right. “Based on the record, it is clear that small entities, which includes individual inventors, adamantly oppose changing the injunctive relief provision of the patent law. . . . [However,] small entities have expressed support for many of the reform proposals that are on the table.”