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Patent standards here are higher than in the USA

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During debates about patent legislation, most or all countries claim that their patent standards are higher than the USA's. In truth, patent standards in most countries are very low. Politicians who believe the "higher standards here" myth either have an exaggerated picture of standards in their own country, or they've gotten distracted by the rejection of a small number of silly patents and think that this solves the whole problem of "bad" patents.

An example of the opinion that other countries have higher standards, Brigitte Zypries, the German Federal Minister of Justice at the time said:[1]

In sharp contrast to the Americans, we are working on a distinction by requiring technology, inventive step, novelty and industrial application for patentability. These are severe limitations. From this it follows that in Germany, much less is patentable than in America.

In practice, the software market is global. Because it is not only the developer of a product who can be sued for infringement, but also the users of the product, it only takes a patent in one country to cause a developer serious harm, wherever they are located. A country could disallow software patents entirely, and its developers would still have a problem.


[edit] New Zealand

[edit] Australia

[edit] MPEG LA's patents in 57 countries

Since most or all of the patents in the pool of MPEG video patents are software patents, and since that pool includes patents granted in 57 countries, we can see that it's very common for patent offices to grant software patents.[3] The innovation quality of these patents hasn't been checked, but sometimes politicians claim that the existence of software patents only means that a few invalid applications slipped past the exclusion of software.

[edit] Related pages on en.swpat.org

[edit] External links

[edit] References

  1. http://www.heise.de/ct/Ein-c-t-Gespraech-mit-Justizministerin-Zypries-und-Ministerialdirektor-Hucko-ueber-geistiges-Eigen--/artikel/125352 (The English translation is from a correspondence with people from FFII)
  2. http://www.aipla.org/html/Patent-Handbook/countries/australia/AUsoftware.html
  3. http://www.mpegla.com/Lists/MPEG%20LA%20News%20List/Attachments/226/n-10-02-02.pdf

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