Google Challenged On Patent Reform Stance

    September 4, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

The latest contribution to the Google Public Policy blog, on the topic of patent reform and Google’s stance, received a pointed rebuttal from a Brookings Institution guest scholar.

Google would like the current patent system fixed. They plan to chat with members and staffers of the House of Representatives about their views of a system Google feels is “currently hurting the ability of U.S. companies to compete globally,” thanks to “low-quality patents and escalating legal costs.”

The Google Public Policy blog noted how Google supports patent reform legislation before Congress. Google is one of the numerous big tech names backing the Coalition for Patent Fairness and its position on patent reform.

Google’s public policy blog posts have been a fascinating read since the blog debuted. This time it isn’t just the post that catches our interest.

A response by Ben Klemens, guest scholar at The Brookings Institution, asked Google to clarify its stance on patents, namely those in the contentious world of technology:

I can’t tell from your public statement here whether you in the public policy department support or do not support software patents per se, though I would bet you a dollar that if you surveyed your employees, the great majority would call software and business method patents an impediment.

Why is Google supporting this tepid bill? Have you determined that it’s time your engineers revise their ethical beliefs regarding mathematical algorithms? Or is a bill that would address subject matter problems just too unlikely to work?

Google may be trying to have its cake and eat it too, to quote the ancient clich