With a worldwide recession and credit crunch going on, Israeli hi-tech start-ups have their hands full just surviving. But now, after a decision by a US court in a relatively obscure case, many also fear they will have their hands full with a patent fight. Just what they needed! It's enough to make companies fold up their tents and wait for more prosperous times to return.
Wrong move, says Ehud Hausman, a patent attorney at the Reinhold Cohn Group. There's nothing to fear, essentially, but fear itself, at least when it comes to a patent fight, he says. "Israeli companies have been very concerned that they will have a hard time getting their patents approved, and many might be discouraged from looking for VC [venture capital] money during these difficult times. But that would be a mistake, one they could end up paying dearly for later on," he says.
The issue that has the Israeli hi-tech world in a tither is a case that was recently decided in a US appellate court (http://www.eff.org/cases/re-bilski).
The article continued with details about the Bilski case. What, however, was the first comment?
Ehud Hausman is not even licensed in the United States
Mallun Yen, head patent person at Cisco, and boss of "patent troll tracker" Rick Frenkel, is not a registered patent attorney either, but Cisco moves on. CIRM hired an attorney, not registered, to advise on IP, but no one said anything. The Denver debate among McCain and Obama IP surrogates did not involve any registered patent attorneys. Mark Lemley is not a registered patent attorney.
The Post article had much from Hausman, including-->
(...)start-ups, which are now anticipating more problems raising money - may hold off on trying to patent their ideas.
And that could be a tragic mistake, says Hausman. "While they might save time and effort in the short term, many of these companies may find themselves losing out later on when the world economy improves," he says. "When they try to sell their companies in an exit later on, they may find its value significantly lower, because their products aren't patented."
In fact, says Hausman, the patent situation is not as dire as the Bilski case might indicate. "I know there are many attorneys in Israel and abroad who see this as the end of software patents, but it really isn't," he says. The key is not necessarily the methods, but the results, he says, adding: "The court made it clear that while it considered the machine or transformation test important in granting patents, it was not the only criteria. And it specifically stated that the Bilski case was not necessarily a precedent for future cases."
see Ex parte Godwin, which deals with anticipation (and cites Cruciferous Sprouts) and also gets into claim preambles.