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POST NUMBER 5626 OCTOBER 2012SOME QUESTIONS ABOUT THE FACTORS INFLUENCING THE PROGRESS OF INNOVATION IN CONTEMPORARY RUSSIA

In the ongoing international legal brouhaha over smartphone patents as valuable game board pieces and moves in the chess-like scramble over the business of market share, the developments in American, Australian, British, Dutch, German, and other fora are both difficult to keep up with as well as to follow. One blogger who does an amazing of reporting upon these matters is Florian Mueller of (www.fosspatents.com). In his 23 October posting about a non-final USPTO office action declaring all 20 of the claims in Apples rubber-banding patent (U.S. Patent No, 7,469,381) invalid, including claim 19, which Apple successfully asserted against Samsung in this summers federal district court trial in California, he provocatively plus properly observed: it would be statistically implausible for all asserted patents to be valid as granted. It is simply a fact that patent offices the world over, and particularly in the United States, grant large numbers of patents that do not withstand serious scrutiny. The 15 or so hours spent by a patent examiner on an application (spread out over the course of several years) mean very little. The moment of truth is when a patent gets asserted against deep-pocketed players, such as an Apple or a Samsung, who throw resources behind prior art search (and the development of invalidity theories) for a single patent that are hundreds and sometimes thousands of times greater (more hours and more expensive people) than the cost of the original examination process. [see (http://www.fosspatents.com/2012/10/patent-officetentatively-invalidates.html)]. Another dimension of the questions associated with progress capable of being had in innovation in contemporary Russia is reflected in the points made by Stephen G. Perlman, a successful American inventor and entrepreneur who was featured in a 15 October NY Times article (In The High Tech Patent Wars An Inventors Lament) wherein he posited: There are patents, and then there are fundamental patents, he added. In my world, we deal with fundamental patents. The different breeds of patents, according to Mr. Perlman, reflect different kinds of innovation. Most innovation is incremental, he says. Incrementalism is 99 percent of what corporate research and development does, Mr. Perlman said, adding: Heavens, that is not to say it isnt vitally important. Where would we be without it. What Mr. Perlman labels incrementalism is what others call integrated innovation. By that, they mean that increasingly complex products, like smartphones, are triumphs of melding many different technologies each, to be sure, a smallish step rather than [a] breakthrough.

Again, Mr. Perlman does not belittle the incremental path. Speaking of smartphones, he said, Man, its incredible what theyve done. But, Mr. Perlman wrote in an e-mail: The problem is that fundamental patents are lumped together with incremental patents. And, as the world is trying to mitigate the over-litigation of incremental patents and patent offices are buried under them, little guys like us are just being steamrolled over. And its not accidental steam-rolling. Incumbents with a deep vested interest in maintaining the status quo, he continued, see the screwed-up patent system as a means to disrupt our ability to bring breakthroughs to [the] market. This, in turn, leads to a question set of monumental financial and political importance what with: - Russia's freshly effected accession to the WTO; - Russia's relative - according to some - greater potential for near-term economic growth than either the EU or American economies; - Russia's currently pending legislative re-writing of its fundamental Civil Code (that includes the entirety of its intellectual property rights laws).

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