Monday, March 5, 2007

Bad ideas to stop patent farmers

Earlier, I posted a blog that described patent farming (inserting patented methods into new standards with the intention of asserting the patent against the users of the standard). Yesterday, I suggested 16 steps that SDOs can take to reduce their vulnerability to patent farmers

SDOs sometimes pick the wrong tactics to protect themselves from patent farmers. Here are some ideas that are likely to be counterproductive.

1. (Bad idea) Try to get the U.S. government to create the standard.

2. (Bad idea) Make the standard a requirement for your user community (usually done by lobbying the government and/or user organizations.

3. (Bad idea) Encumber the standard under a pre-paid user license.

4. (Bad idea) Focus the standard for a single imagined user (e.g., radiology
departments)whose needs may not fall under an existing patent claim.

5. (Bad idea)Make no special accommodations for research/testing activities that arise from or use the standard.

6. (Bad idea) Pretend there is no problem and try to marginalize people who disagree.

In a future blog, I'll explain why these ideas are bad for the SDO or the intended user community.

- Jules Berman

tags: intellectual property, ip, patent farming, patent infringement, risk, sdo, standards development organizations
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