Innovation Asset Blog

Microsoft attorney discusses merits, challenges of patent reform

In a recent interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Microsoft's deputy general counsel Horacio Gutierrez asserted that, although U.S. patent laws could be improved, the system is far from broken.

"If you look at the development of the technology industry in the U.S., intellectual property protection has been essential in bringing about the success of this industry throughout the 20th century and even before that," Gutierrez explained. "Study after study has demonstrated that the patent system has actually played a role in securing the leadership that the United States has in this field."

Gutierrez contends that the provisions contained in the America Invents Act provide clearer application guidelines and will ultimately foster higher-quality patents. He also told reporters that allowing companies to call for a review of questionable patents enables a "weeding out" process that could save time and money for the legal system.

The Microsoft spokesman also put his remarks into context by discussing software copyrighting, an issue moving to the forefront of technology sector debates. Although some believe that the odds of unintentional infringement are too high in the current system, Gutierrez defended the importance of intellectual property protection for one of the country's most innovative industries. 

Peter Ackerman

Peter Ackerman

Founder & CEO, Innovation Asset Group, Inc.