Rather than reduce patent terms for the fast moving technology field where a 14-20 year patent is absurd, Issa is focusing on the auto industry. Currently collision repair parts are covered under design patents that last 14 years meaning that third parties aren't allowed to make replacement body parts.
While reducing or better yet eliminating design patents is almost certainly a good thing, it should be no means be limited to the auto industry. Design patents should be done away with entirely so that anyone could make a rectangular slab with a glass touch screen without fearing the wrath of the Cupertino bullies.
It's past time for congress to truly address the dysfunctional patent system by eliminating software patents or at least cutting the terms to a bare minimum and properly funding the USPTO so that examiners can actually evaluate applications and search for prior art. Since Issa is no friend to the auto industry but has a background in tech and supportive constituents from his hometown company Qualcomm, that's unlikely to happen anytime soon.
House Debates Drastic Changes To Auto Patents: Good Or Bad?
When we think of patents, we often think of things like drugs and cell phones — things perfected in high tech labs over many, many years. But patents and patent law affect nearly every part of our da…
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