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Microsoft: Can't Our Patent Systems Get Along?

Sep 03, 2009, 17:04 (8 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Stuart J. Johnston)

"Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), and many other technology firms, are frustrated with the lack of a global patent system. There are more than 190 separate nations around the world, and the lack of a unified patent system constitutes an important impediment to business.

"Today, there is no standardized global system for handling patent filings, verification, issuance, and enforcement. While work has been going on for years among nations worldwide to "harmonize" various nations' patent systems, much more needs to be done, and Microsoft is stepping up the dialogue on that.

""Over 3.5 million patent applications are pending around the world, including over 750,000 in the U.S. Pendency periods [the time during which a patent is "pending"] are extending to three, four or in some cases five years before final patents are issued," Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft deputy general counsel, said in a blog post Tuesday."

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