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Monday, March 10, 2008


Patent reform is a big issue in communications, computer, and software industries as well as genetic engineering. But what exactly is the purpose of a patent? Why is there a patent law and exactly how should it be changed to meet the challenges posed by ever-newer technologis undreamed of when the original patent laws were written?
clipped from news.yahoo.com
The Patent Reform Act would overhaul the U.S. patent system. Among other things, it would create a new way to challenge patents after they've been granted, and it would allow courts to change the way they assess damages in patent-infringement cases. Currently, courts generally consider the value of the entire product when a small piece of the product infringes a patent. The legislation would allow courts to base damages only on the value of the infringing piece.
Many large tech vendors, including BSA members Microsoft, Symantec and Apple, say it's too easy for patent holders to claim that a small piece of a tech product infringes a patent and to collect huge court awards. But some small tech vendors, independent inventors and pharmaceutical companies have opposed the Patent Reform Act, saying it would water down the value of patents and give small companies fewer protections against large companies that steal their ideas.
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I live on the Pacific slopes of the Talamanca mountain range in southern Costa Rica. My adult children live in the United States. I have a Masters Degree in Gerontology but have worked as a migrant laborer, chicken egg collector, radio broadcaster, secretary, social worker, research director, bureaucrat, writer, editor, political organizer, publicist, telephone operator, and more. My hobby of photography has garnered some awards.

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