Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/02/06/four_year_patent_term/

Four-year 'limited patent' proposed

But critics sceptical

By OUT-LAW.COM

Posted in Media, 6th February 2006 16:29 GMT

A patent lasting 20 years makes sense for some inventions, but for those in the fields of software and technology, a four-year term is often more appropriate. This is part of a new 'limited patent' proposal set out by a computing professor this month.

An article by Lee Hollaar, a Professor with the School of Computing at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, appeared in this month’s IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Spectrum magazine and complements an 11-page paper he wrote on patent reform last October.

Professor Hollaar, a former chair of IEEE-USA's Intellectual Property Committee, points to delays in granting patents, an overlong protection period and limited examination as issues facing the current system.

He suggests that adding another tier of patents into the existing system would address some of these problems.

He says his ‘limited patent’ would:

Critics are unconvinced, querying whether such a system, which relates largely to software patents, could also apply to other sectors.

See the Spectrum article here.

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