As I’ve written before, I’m a huge critic of the existing patent process, especially as it applies to software patents. Today, the NY Times has an article up describing how IBM will begin putting its patent filings online for public review. This is a huge positive step by IBM and shows real leadership in addressing our completely screwed up patent system.
IBM collaborated over the summer with a group of 50 experts from outside IBM to come up with a new approach to protecting intellectual property. The result of this effort is summarized in the report Building a New IP Marketplace. This is superb and exciting stuff. Since our government can’t seem to make any progress with this, I hope they’ll at least follow the leadership of some major industrial companies that while ultimately acting in their own self-interest (as they should) recognize that they get more economic benefit long term by fixing the underlying dysfunction.