Computer Program Patent Infringement in a Global Economy
HIIT Publications Series, Forthcoming
52 Pages Posted: 16 Sep 2010 Last revised: 25 May 2014
Date Written: September 15, 2010
Computer program and computer program based invention is more likely to be accepted as a patent eligible subject matter. While the details of the standards to use are currently debated, in all three major patenting jurisdictions, patent eligibility of a computer program is becoming less contested. At the same time, the context related to the conduct of use of a computer program has become more complex. As most of the computers today are likely to be connected to Internet, a program written for a general purpose computer is likely to be used in this context. Some of the computer programs are deliberately directed to an invention utilising Internet or used in an apparatus designed for networked use, as is the cases of mobile communication devices. Today’s global economy, production is often modularized and involves cross-border production and distribution, utilizing various production factors. Furthermore, changing paradigm of innovation introduces diverse conduct of use as well. Use of these types of computer program involves multiple focal points and multiple jurisdictions. In contrast, the concept of patent rights is based on the idea that the effects of those rights are still very territorial. Enforcing theses patents raise complex doctrinal issues in patent infringement liability. In this regard, the infringement is often done by a singular and complete action in one territory, adopting a model of single entity perspective. This paper discusses how the computer program patent and how changing innovation paradigm challenges this model of a single infringer within one territory with one complete action. In the context of a global economy, this paper comparatively reviews some of the theories of infringement in the patent laws of Japan, US and Europe that aim to bridge the patchwork of patent infringement doctrines to regulate these fragmented activities.
Keywords: computer program patents, cloud computing, patent, territoriality, indirect infringement
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