A federal appeals court is set to consider a case closely watched by Google Inc, Facebook Inc and other technology companies that could determine how far the patent system should go in protecting software inventions.
WITHOUT technical standards, life would be a lot more complicated. They make it possible, for example, for computers of all sorts to connect to the internet via Wi-Fi in homes, offices and coffee shops, and for mobile phones of different makes on different networks to communicate with one another.
In Sunday's Chicago Tribune, Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman explained why his manufacturing powerhouse has no plans to expand business operations in its home state of Illinois. The whole op-ed is worth reading, but here are the money grafs:
The agricultural giant Monsanto has sued hundreds of small farmers in the United States in recent years in attempts to protect its patent rights on genetically engineered seeds that it produces and sells, a new report said on Tuesday.
Two years ago, I spoke to a gentlemen who had started and sold four companies. He was currently working on a new project that sounded very promising (for all I know, he has already sold that one too). We had just heard a talk in which the speaker told people that the whole key to business success in our time is patent ownership. Without it, no business can really succeed.
So I asked this gentleman what he thought of the talk. His response was quick (I paraphrase here):
The question of whether genetic material can or should be patented by pharmaceutical companies is being tested in courts both in the U.S. and overseas.
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard an appeal by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Public Patent Foundation against Myriad Genetics Inc., a Utah-based private biotechnology company that holds patents on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, two genetic mutations associated with breast and ovarian cancer.