Salon: Patently Bezos

The Amazon CEO’s plan for patent reform is not all new, but
it’s not all bad, either.

“When Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos laid out his proposals for reforming
the patent system last week, patent experts reacted with the same
lack of enthusiasm the bookseller’s competitors showed when it won
a patent on its customer-referral program. After all, Bezos’ plan,
like some of his company’s e-commerce patents, did not sound all
that novel to people familiar with the subject….”

“In a 1994 Columbia Law Review article titled “A Manifesto
Concerning the Legal Protection of Computer Programs,” Pamela
Samuelson, an intellectual-property expert and law professor at
University of California at Berkeley, called for a new kind of
legal structure to protect software developers’ rights — something
more protective than copyright law, but less so than traditional
patents. Essentially, Samuelson argued that the strong, wide
protection of patents threatened to hinder technical advances in
the field….”