Yesterday I promised to post more about IBM’s new corporate patent policy. Let’s start with the broadcast links:
- IBM’s Dave Kappos talks on National Public Radio
- Discussion on CNN American Morning: Minding Your Business
and here are some online print links:
- The press release: “IBM Establishes Worldwide Patent Policy to Promote Innovation”
- New York Times: “Hoping to Be a Model, IBM Will Put Its Patent Filings Online”
- InternetNews.com: “IBM Pushes New Patent Policies”
- Reuters: “IBM to allow other companies to use some patents”
- CIO: “IBM Patent Filings to be Open”
- ars technica: “IBM to make all patent applications public”
- Andy Updegrove: “IBM Adopts Open Patent Policy”
I think the press release explains the situation pretty well, but the four main points it makes are
- Patent applicants are responsible for the quality and clarity of their patent applications.
- Patent applications should be available for public examination.
- Patent ownership should be transparent and easily discernable.
- Pure business methods without technical merit should not be patentable.
To me the key words and phrases are: responsible, quality, clarity, available, transparent, and the entire concept around technical merit. IBM plans to work within the rules of the systems but go beyond them where it is possible to improve patent quality. This includes allowing the USPTO to publish all of its patent applications after the obligatory 18 month waiting period. With luck we’ll get a groundswell of support for these kinds of actions.