Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Help EFF stamp out stupid patents! Know of any stupid patents being used to hurt the little guys? Send them to the EFF. What a great project.

Electronic Frontier Foundation
Enter the Patent Busting Contest!

The Electronic Frontier Foundation's Patent Busting Project is here to protect you from dangerously bad patents. And you can help us pick which patents we're going to bust first!

We're currently seeking nominations for ten patents that deserve to be revoked because they are invalid. Sadly, we don't have the resources to challenge every stupid patent out there. In order to qualify for our ten most-wanted list, a patent must be software or Internet-related and there must be a good reason to suspect that the patent claims are invalid. We're especially interested in patents that target tools of free expression, such as streaming media, blogging tools, and voice over IP (VoIP) technology. Most importantly, the patent-holder must be aggressively enforcing its patent and suing (or threatening to sue) alleged infringers. We're particularly interested in cases where the patent-holder is trying to force small businesses, individuals, nonprofits, and consumers to pay licensing fees. Deadline to enter is June 23.

On June 30, the Patent Busting Project's team of tough lawyers and brainy geeks will announce the contest winners – or losers, depending on how you look at it. And that's when the real fight for great justice begins. We'll be needing your help to research prior art for each patent and offer your technical expertise or historical knowledge. Using a legal process called "reexamination," the Patent Busting Project will ultimately go to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and attempt to take those bad patents off the books.

via Boing Boing



does anyone know about the legal situation concerning software patents in Japan? Thanks for hints or URLs.


According to the WIPO, "In Japan, computer programs and business methods are patentable provided that they are considered to be technical instead of merely abstract ideas."

Yes. Even though Japanese IP law is quite different from the US, they tend to track the US on most of the "important" issues...

Well, that's sad ... but thanks a lot.