Tech-Talk Troubles - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Software // Enterprise Applications
News
2/17/2006
07:20 PM
50%
50%

Tech-Talk Troubles

One problem with software patents, compared with those in other areas, is the language used. Patents granted for pharmaceuticals, for instance, use a chemistry lexicon to describe the specifics of what the invention accomplishes: compounds, bonds, and reactions. "The language of chemistry is hundreds of years old, and it's really clear," says Dave Kappos, senior intellectual property counsel at IBM.

Juxtapose that with software, which has no such lexicon. "Software-related inventions typically are described processes, with very general functional language involving taking a first data entry and transporting it to a data location and taking it to a second data entry," Kappos says. "It's really difficult to understand what those mean. A lot of the problem boils down to the lexicon. That's not the fault of [the] Patent Office. It's not really the fault of anybody. It's just a problem that we have to live with."

Changes have been proposed to the patent examination process that would let third parties and rivals submit documentation about software during the application process and in reviews after patents are granted. These adjustments could help define the exact purpose of an invention, Kappos says. Beyond that, technospeak will continue to be a challenge.

Return to the story:
The U.S. Patent System In Crisis

Continue to the sidebar:
The JPEG Enforcer

Read more about patent reform
and listen to our podcast on patent enforcement as a business model.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Is Getting an Upgrade!

Find out more about our plans to improve the look, functionality, and performance of the InformationWeek site in the coming months.

Commentary
Why IT Leaders Should Make Cloud Training a Top Priority
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author,  4/14/2021
Slideshows
10 Things Your Artificial Intelligence Initiative Needs to Succeed
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  4/20/2021
Commentary
Lessons I've Learned From My Career in Technology
Guest Commentary, Guest Commentary,  5/4/2021
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Planning Your Digital Transformation Roadmap
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
Slideshows
Flash Poll