Förderverein Informationstechnik und Gesellschaft
The Expansion of the Patent System: Politics and Political Economy
By Brian Kahin
Over the past twenty years, the jurisdiction of the patent system has expanded to cover software and business practices. This expansion continues to elicit concerns about quality, but the quality problem is symptomatic of institutional problems. Captured by the patent community, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) has adopted an expansionist philosophy and devalued the examination process. This philosophy, along with the expansionist decisions of the specialized Court of the Appeals for the Federal Circuit, is dramatically at odds with the principles of the Clinton Administration's initiative on global electronic commerce.