Archive for the ‘Intellectual Property’ Category

Strengthening the Patent System by Ending Patent Abuse

posted by in Intellectual Property March 19, 2015

Patent reform is top of mind on Capitol Hill this month as several Committees hold hearings to discuss the need for patent reform. BSA was honored to testify today at the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. My testimony underscored the need for legislative action to curb abuses in the patent system.

The Small Business Committee is the ideal venue for an organization like BSA to present our views. Although our members range in size – from very small to large, each of them was founded by one or two individuals with passion, an idea, and a vision for making that idea a marketplace reality.

For BSA members, intellectual property is core to a successful and robust software industry. As some of the most innovative companies and largest patent holders in the world, BSA members value a strong, efficient and predictable patent system as an engine for continued innovation. Software related patents are especially important for our members and other small businesses in many sectors of the economy that rely on a patent system that is strong, predictable, efficient, and fair.

In today’s world, much of the innovation that is occurring comes through the development of better software, whether it is building energy efficient offices and homes, running factories more safely and productively, or making our transportation system more efficient. But BSA members are not only among America’s most innovative companies. We are also some of the biggest targets for abusive patent suits.

Patent litigation is enormously expensive, and the costs only continue to grow. A 2011 survey by the American Intellectual Property Law Association found that the median cost of a medium-sized patent litigation is approximately $6 million dollars per party, double the cost reported in 2009 and four times the cost reported in 2001.

These exorbitant costs make all businesses – regardless of size or whether they are plaintiff or defendant – think twice about litigating a patent suit. This dynamic is what enables abusive litigation to thrive and grow. But abusive litigation tactics serve none but the abuser: they do not create jobs; they do not deliver new products and services to consumers; and they do not contribute to our innovation economy.

Patent reform is a top priority for the software industry this year, and BSA is committed to working with lawmakers in both houses of Congress to end this frivolous litigation. By focusing legislative efforts on curbing abusive litigation tactics, we can deter opportunistic litigation while strengthening confidence and clarity in the patent system and the rights it protects.

Click here to download the full text of BSA’s testimony.

It’s Time to Support Software Industry Priorities

posted by in Intellectual Property March 3, 2015

The global software industry – exemplified by the unparalleled success of American-born innovation – is changing the way we live. Software creates jobs. It sustains vibrant economies. And it enables us to do amazing things by connecting human ingenuity with technology to not only improve how we live our lives every day but also turn remarkable new ideas into reality.

In recent years it’s been a challenge to foster cooperation and deal making in Washington. However, White House and congressional leaders seem eager to change this dynamic and demonstrate they can work together to pass legislation. This week, the General Counsels of BSA | The Software Alliance member companies are coming to Washington to urge action by Congress and the Obama Administration on a bipartisan, achievable, pro-growth agenda focusing on patent reform, government access to private data, and removing trade barriers. These issues don’t require new spending or changes in the tax code. But they are common sense, drive economic growth, and — with the right support – are achievable this year. (more…)

Supreme Court Action on Patents Leaves Room for Reform

posted by in Intellectual Property February 12, 2015

Today, the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet held a hearing to examine recent Supreme Court cases in the patent arena. The hearing was carefully watched by opponents and supporters of the Innovation Act (HR 9), a bipartisan patent litigation reform bill introduced last week.

BSA and its member companies strongly support the Innovation Act. The bill is carefully crafted to curb abusive practices in patent litigation and to address asymmetries in the cost of patent litigation that provide incentives to assert weak patents and meritless infringement claims. Today’s hearing made clear that, while the Supreme Court has taken steps to correct imbalances in patent litigation, meaningful change lies beyond the Court’s role in interpreting existing law. (more…)

BSA Global Survey Reveals Security Concerns With Unlicensed Software — and Points to the Solution

posted by in Intellectual Property June 24, 2014

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Of all the priorities CIOs and IT managers are juggling these days — from cloud to mobility to data analytics — surveys find that cybersecurity is what keeps them up at night. And there’s good reason for that: Symantec dubbed 2013 the “Year of the Mega Breach” while the Economist Intelligence Unit found that more than 75 percent of organizations suffered a security incident in the past two years causing major system disruption or loss of sensitive data. (more…)

Affirming the Patentability of Software

posted by in Intellectual Property February 27, 2014

The Supreme Court next month will hear oral arguments in CLS Bank v. Alice Corp., an important case that could go a long way toward affirming that the breathtaking software innovations transforming the world around us are patentable just like any other form of innovation as long as they meet the standard tests of being new, useful, non-obvious and adequately described.

The debate about software patentability has been contentious in recent years, partly because it has been exacerbated by questionable inventions masquerading as software patents. Take the patents asserted by Alice Corp. They simply describe a well-known process for settling financial transactions — an abstract idea that has been around for centuries — and claim that performing the steps on a computer is an invention. The concept of performing intermediate settlements on a computer adds no substantial value and does not make the abstract idea patentable, so the Court should find Alice’s patents invalid. (more…)

Study Shows Impact of Software Infringement for Manufacturers

It has long been well understood that software is a key driver of growth and innovation because it serves as a tool of production for businesses across every sector of the global economy. It also follows that the impact of software intellectual property infringement is far reaching — and a new study quantifies that impact in the manufacturing sector.

Bill Kerr, associate professor at Harvard Business School, and Chad Moutray, chief economist for National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) have found that global software IP infringement is a significant drain on the US economy. Their study, commissioned by NAM and the National Alliance for Jobs and Innovation, reveals that between 2002 and 2012 software infringement cost nearly $240 billion in manufacturing revenue, $70 billion in GDP and more than 42,000 US manufacturing jobs.

Results of the study were discussed on January 30, 2014 in a panel discussion at NAM headquarters featuring the study authors and industry leaders:

Pass the Innovation Act

posted by in Intellectual Property December 3, 2013

The US House of Representatives is set to vote this week on the Innovation Act (H.R. 3309), an important bipartisan bill that would curb abusive patent litigation by reducing the financial incentive for bad actors to engage in it.

BSA urges Members of Congress to support the bill.

We have laid out the case for balanced patent reform along with a detailed analysis of the Innovation Act on PatentPrinciples.org. For a great overview of why the bill is needed, we would also encourage everyone to watch this video from Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the bill’s sponsor:

New Economic Research Confirms the Competitive Advantage of Properly Licensed Software

BSA has long highlighted the ways properly licensed software creates value for enterprises and economies. For example, a body of research shows that fully licensed software improves productivity and efficiency by reducing exposure to viruses and other security vulnerabilities — meaning fewer system malfunctions, downtime, and IT repair costs. It also comes with value-added services such as access to upgrades, patches, and manufacturer support services, including training and problem resolution. (more…)

The Power of Innovative Ideas

posted by in Intellectual Property April 25, 2013

April 26 is World Intellectual Property Day, the day the World Intellectual Property Organization sets aside every year to promote discussion of the role IP plays in driving innovation, creativity, social progress and economic growth. But in truth, robust discussions of these issues are already well underway. (more…)

Clear Thinking on Software Patents

posted by in Industry, Intellectual Property February 22, 2013

In the vigorous, ongoing debate about the state of America’s patent system — and the state of software patents, in particular — there are some legitimate issues that call for practical solutions, and there is a great deal of peripheral noise. To sort through and identify which is which, BSA and the National Association of Manufacturers co-hosted a packed briefing event this week on Capitol Hill. (more…)