An Israeli Perspective on Patent Reform

By February 21, 2008Innovation

Bernard G. Frieder, a British technology consultant now working with Israeli firms, writing in The Jerusalem Post, expresses alarm at the patent legislation being proposed in the U.S. Senate.

Because inventors, research organizations and startup ventures around the world rely on US patents to protect the output of their labor, changing the US patent system has global repercussions…[snip]

Over the past 20 years, a significant proportion of the Israeli economy – and export growth – has been based on our patent-centric technology sector. From essentially a handful of companies, Israel has developed a world-renowned start-up culture and multi-billion venture capital investment engine. In fact, Israel is second only to California’s Silicon Valley as a driver of global innovation.

He has many, many specific objections:

THE PROPOSED changes would greatly increase the costs of securing a basic US patent and expand filing requirements and processing time, thereby reducing a patent’s term of protection.

Also, a US patent would no longer be a secure asset since its validity could be challenged during the course of its effective life. There would be no closure. The potential for costly litigation would skyrocket and patent holders would be forced to “lawyer up” – to defend themselves against opportunistic plaintiffs.

Which is a sure way to discourage investment in innovation.

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