New IBM patent policy II

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Yesterday I promised to post more about IBM’s new corporate patent policy. Let’s start with the broadcast links:

and here are some online print links:

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.

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