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Microsoft Proposes To Rewrite Patent System

Microsoft revealed yesterday its proposal to overhaul the U.S. patent system, with the intent of reducing its own legal costs by streamlining the process. The proposal also includes eliminating the $500 patent filing fee for small businesses, which would be a huge boon to struggling startups and inventors.

The centerpiece of the proposal is the creation of a seperate court that would handle all patent cases. Its a great idea, one that would guarantee all patents being handled by judges who are experts on the system and would hopefully help the court system deliver more consistent rulings.

Microsoft is on both sides of the aisle in this case, both being sued for violating patents as well as trying to file thousands of patents a year themselves. They are the rare company that isn’t anti-patent or pro-patent. Still, having a company draft legislation is as questionable as it comes. Hopefully, the government will take Microsoft’s proposal to heart and use it to spur discussion on patent reform.

Mary Jo Foley has a lot more details and the specifics. Scoble also has his say.

March 11th, 2005 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Law, General | no comments

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