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E-commerce patents and shifting balances in patent law

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2 Author(s)
Durant, S.C. ; Morrison & Foerster LLP, USA ; Chuang, T.C.

The rules with respect to the patentability of software and business method inventions have loosened over the last decade to allow a broader range of patentability. Many patents issuing today are in the e-commerce area, and there is often a close relationship between what is being patented and generation of wealth. Critics of the surge of e-commerce patents argue these patents may stifle development of e-commerce. The level of concern of critics may be unwarranted since the broader range of patentability that has occurred has been balanced somewhat against a narrower scope of protection occurring during the same time period as a result of more restrictive claim interpretation during enforcement of patents. This more restrictive claim interpretation has created an onus on patent owners to effectively draft and prosecute patents to obtain protection commensurate with the scope of the inventions

Published in:

Communications Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:38 ,  Issue: 7 )