The government of Australia is considering overhauling patent laws, after a major report found that the ease with which patents were granted in Australia was hampering innovation. The report, Venturous Australia—Building Strength in Innovation, by a government review panel concluded
…in new areas of patenting such as software and business methods, there is strong evidence that existing intellectual property arrangements are hampering innovation. …The inventive steps required to qualify for patents should be considerable, and the resulting patents must be well-defined, so as to minimise litigation and maximise the scope for subsequent innovation.
We are pleased to note that the evidence mustered to support this conclusion (p. 84) includes this blog’s discussion of “Patents, Thickets and the Financing of Early-Stage Firms: Evidence from the Software Industry” by Iain Cockburn and Megan MacGarvie and also Patent Failure: How Judges, Bureaucrats, and Lawyers Put Innovators at Risk