백악관의 “we the people project”는 행정부에 대한 청원시스템을 신설했다. 이 신설 청원시스템에 따르면 청원의 게시일로부터 30일 이내에 25000명 이상이 서명을 하면 행정부는 그 청원을 검토하여 공식적인 답변을 하여야 한다. 올 10월 이전에는 그 한도가 5000명이었다.
이 "소프트웨어 특허 폐지 청원"은 9월23일에 처음 게시되어 현재 14,800명이 넘었으니 검토 및 답변 대상에 해당하였다.
청원의 주장 요지는 특허가 혁신과 경쟁적 시장을 지지하기 보다는 혁신을 억압하고 경쟁을 방해하며, 소규모 기업들에 대한 대기업의 반독점 수단으로 악용되고 있다는 것이다.
그래서 아직 경쟁력이 남아있는 미국의 몇 안되는 산업분야 중 하나인 소프트웨어 산업을 정상화시키기 위해서는 소프트웨어에 대한 특허 허여를 중단하고 기존의 소프트웨어 특허를 모두 무효화하여야 한다고 주장한다.
백악관의 답변에서 볼 수 있는 바와 같이, 청원이 받아들여져 소프트웨어 특허가 없어질 가능성은 사실상 기대할 수 없는 일이다.
그러나 특허제도 그 자체는 근본적으로 많은 모순을 안고 있는 제도이다.
특정인에게 특정 기술의 사용을 독점하게 한다는 점에서 현재 전 세계를 지배하는 자유 시장경제 이념에 정면으로 반한다.
그래도 특허제도가 그나마 다른 어떤 제도보다 인간의 창의적 본능을 가장 강력하게 조장하고 인류의 물질문명을 이만큼 끌어올리는 데 수훈갑임을 부정할 수는 없다.
이 청원과 같은 특허제도에의 저항 운동이 특허제도에 내재된 모순에 대한 재검토 작업의 단초가 될 수는 있을 것이다.
we petition the obama administration to:
Direct the Patent Office to Cease Issuing Software Patents
The patent office's original interpretation of software as language and therefor patentable is much closer to reality and more productive for innovation than it's current practice of issuing software patents with no understanding of the patents being issued.
Under the patent office's current activity, patents have been come a way to stifle innovation and prevent competition rather than supporting innovation and competitive markets. They've become a tool of antitrust employed by large companies against small ones.
To return sanity to the software industry - one of the few industries still going strong in America - direct the patent office to cease issuing software patents and to void all previously issued software patents.
total signatures 14,86
Promoting Innovation and Competitive Markets through Quality Patents
By Quentin Palfrey
Thank you for your petition asking the Obama Administration to direct the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to stop issuing software patents and to void existing software patents. We are committed to reforming the patent system in a way that puts patent quality first and promotes innovation and competitive markets.
On September 16, 2011, President Obama signed the America Invents Act, which will help American entrepreneurs and businesses get their inventions to the marketplace sooner so that they can turn their ideas into new products and new jobs. The America Invents Act was passed with President Obama's strong leadership after nearly a decade of effort to reform the Nation's outdated patent laws. It will help companies and inventors avoid costly delays and unnecessary litigation, and let them focus instead on innovation and job creation. Congress recognized that more needs to be done to review and weed out overly-broad patents that have been issued in the past, and the recently enacted legislation provides important tools to invalidate certain overly-broad patents that might inhibit innovation, including those involving software. For example, the new transitional post-grant review program will help the USPTO take a closer look at certain business method patents, including a number of software patents. Other tools for cost-effective and speedy in-house review of granted patents will also become available in less than a year under the new law.
The America Invents Act directly addresses certain categories of patents, like patents involving tax strategies, but it did not change the law regarding the patentability of software-related inventions. There's a lot we can do through the new law to improve patent quality and to ensure that only true inventions are given patent protection. But it's important to note that the executive branch doesn't set the boundaries of what is patentable all by itself. Congress has set forth broad categories of inventions that are eligible for patent protection. The courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, have interpreted the statute to include some software-related inventions. Even before the legislation passed, the Administration took other important steps to ensure that only high-quality patents are issued, and that we curb or invalidate overly-broad software patents. For example, the USPTO recently issued guidance to its examiners that tighten up the requirements that inventors fully describe, specify, and distinctly claim their inventions so that vague patents are not issued. We've also issued new guidance to examiners to help ensure that patents cover only "new" and "non-obvious" inventions.
As we begin to implement the new law, patent quality will be at the top of our minds. As Director Kappos recently explained, "[w]hile speed is essential to a well-functioning USPTO, patent quality is the sine qua non of our success, and we are all deeply committed to ensuring patent quality." We will tackle a number of important questions in the coming months, and we invite you to work with us to implement the new law in the most effective way possible. To help facilitate that dialogue, we have set up a public implementation website at http://www.uspto.gov/aia_implementation, and we'd love to hear your comments by email, postal mail or in person at a number of public events that are listed on the implementation site. Through that process, you can help us work through important questions on how to implement provisions of the new law, like inter partes review, post grant review, and covered business method patents.
We understand that the concern about software patents stems, in part, from concerns that overly broad patents on software-based inventions may stifle the very innovative and creative open source software development community. As an Administration, we recognize the tremendous value of open source innovation and rely on it to accomplish key missions. For example, the U.S. Open Government National Action Plan recently announced that the source code for We the People and Data.gov would be open sourced for the entire world. Federal agencies are likewise spurring innovation through open source energy. For example, the Department of Defense issued clarifying guidance on the use of open software at the Department. And, the Department of Health and Human Services has become a leader in standards-based, open sourced policy to power innovations in health care quality and enable research into efficient care delivery. The tremendous growth of the open source and open data communities over the years, for delivery of both commercial and non-commercial services, shows that innovation can flourish in both the proprietary and open source software environments.
Quentin Palfrey is Senior Advisor to CTO for Jobs and Competitiveness at the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy
|[글로벌][허변 칼럼] 변리사가 특허의 권리범위를 좁게 작성한 것에 대해 책임을 물을 수 있는가? (1)||2011.11.22|
|[글로벌] 이젠 학문연구도 컴퓨터가 대신해 주는 시대! (0)||2011.11.19|
|[글로벌] "소프트웨어에 대한 특허부여를 폐지하라!" (0)||2011.11.03|
|중국의 아이폰 짝퉁들! 이제 거의 예술적 경지에.. 진정한 경쟁력이 무엇인지 고민하여야.. (0)||2011.10.29|
|[아테나이칼럼] Bilski 판결, 전가의 보도? (0)||2011.10.24|
|References Cited_Patently-O_090219 (0)||2009.02.22|