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NY Times: Chairman of Amazon Urges Reduction of Patent Terms

Mar 11, 2000, 23:15 (2 Talkback[s])

"Some legal analysts asserted that Mr. Bezos's suggestion, disclosed this week in an open letter on the Amazon site, might be largely a public relations move. And critics of moves to reduce the duration of patents say the government would be unwise and unlikely to limit a term that protects not just big players like Amazon, but also smaller cash-short innovators."

"But Mr. Bezos said he planned to light a fire underneath the nascent patent reform movement and, in the process, stimulate innovation that he says has been hindered by current law, which grants 20 years of protection from the time an application is filed...."

"We just took the status quo for books and mousetraps for copyright and patent respectively and applied it to computer software," said Jonathan Zittrain, a lecturer at Harvard Law School and the executive director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, who advocates reducing the term to five years."

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