[ffii] FFII President says current patent system not sustainable
FFII Press Center
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Mon Dec 11 11:16:44 CET 2006
PRESS RELEASE -- [ Europe / Economy / ICT ]
FFII President says current patent system not sustainable
Brussels, 11 December 2006 -- At the pan-European IP Summit in Brussels
last week, FFII President Pieter Hintjens warned that growing imbalances
were putting the entire patent system at risk. His comments were echoed
in Gowers' report issued by Britain's Treasury, which called for a new
balance between patent holders and the public.
Hintjens called on the patent industry to stop promoting proposals that
make things worse and to take five key actions that he said were
necessary to create a sustainable patent system: to stop the polemics,
to resolve conflicts of interest, to seek appropriate models, to return
to basics, and to undertake constructive dialogue.
Hintjens is skeptical of the European Patent Office's plans to create a
new European Patent Court: "This plan assumes all is well with the
patent system except that litigation is too costly. It ignores the
deeper problems, and if implemented, would be start of the end of the
patent system in Europe. Anyone who makes their living from patents
(not to mention those who don't wish to see further expansion of the
patent system) should be extremely concerned with this proposal."
"It's easy for the patent industry to focus on the champagne and success
stories. But there are deeper problems and these are getting worse as
we speak: the evaporation of patent quality, the growth of for-profit
patent administrations, the schisms between different industries who
struggle to share a single patent model, the creation of vast patent
thickets, the loss of product-driven innovation in many areas, mounting
litigation, and an increasing loss of public and political support for
the entire patent system", he explains.
He warns that "when an entire industry, no matter how wealthy, starts to
lose public and political support, it can rapidly find itself at the
sharp end of politically forced reforms. The patent industry is
vulnerable because of its claims to be driving economic growth. When
economies slow - as the US economy is doing - such claims start to look
very hollow, and people start to wonder: if the patent industry does not
drive economic growth, what exactly does it do, and for whom?"
* Hintjens' proposals are detailed on the FFII Digital Majority website
* FFII EPLA workgroup
* FFII EU patent system reform workgroup
* Permanent link to this PR
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About the FFII -- http://www.ffii.org
The FFII is a not-for-profit association registered in twenty European
countries, dedicated to the development of information goods for the
public benefit, based on copyright, free competition, open standards.
More than 850 members, 3,500 companies and 100,000 supporters have
entrusted the FFII to act as their voice in public policy questions
concerning exclusion rights (intellectual property) in data processing.
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