A blog relating to Internet legal issues by Professor John Swinson, University of Queensland
Grant v Commissioner of Patents  FCA 1100
“Do internet process patents threaten e-commerce?”In the article it discusses Undesirable consequences of eCommerce patents claiming that “large companies are engaging in patent warfare using their eCommerce patent portfolios to stifle competition.” This very notion goes against, the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) (TPA), which encourages a fair market by promoting competition and discourages anti-competitive behaviour. This is not only beneficial to consumers but also to businesses and the community in general.
Last night's class gave an insightful glimpse into the world of e-patents which made me think... given the patent application process is quite detailed and cumbersome (requiring the applicant to write almost a novel meticulously describing his/her invention) could a wily person develop say a software program and obtain a patent for it, then before the twenty year period is up redefine the invention in different terms as "technology" and then when that patent expires, redefine it again as say a "toy/game"? Which would give the effect of an (almost perpetual) or sixty year patent for what is essence the same invention (but portrayed using different terms and descriptions)? And with this in mind, given Microsoft is aspiring to (or actually) obtaining a patent a day for their inventions, are these inventions actually "novel" and distinguishable from each other or are they just mathematical variations or combinations of the same/similar source codes? Which follows on, what is their business plan when their patents expire in 20 years? Or is their business plan just to obtain layer after layer of programming patent protection (which also allows them to cross licence that which is not patented) which in essence still means they have perpetual protection?
patent law everyone sues everyone:http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/digital-life/tablets/htc-sues-apple-wants-ban-on-ipad-sales-20100513-uyyy.html
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The decision today of the Full Court in Commissioner of Patents v Rokt further clarifies the position in relation to whether a computer im...