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苹果联手6大巨头捍卫专利体系

2014-04-10    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

苹果、杜邦、福特、通用电气、IBM、微软和辉瑞开始联手捍卫美国专利体系的坚固防线。与此同时,包括LinkedIn、奈飞、Twitter等在内的新锐公司却都向最高法院极力主张称“软件专利权与专利体系的法律目的不符”。

In a gesture that is most remarkable for the fact that someone thought it necessary at all, a diverse group of seven major corporations joined forces this morning to say little more than, basically: Patents are good.
4月3日早上,七大公司组成的团体联合以一种大张旗鼓的方式传达了一些人认为不言自明的观点,基本意思无外乎是说::专利是个好东西。

The group, which calls itself the Partnership for American Innovation, hopes to stem what their members see as overblown negativity and hostility toward the patent system in the media, Congress, and the courts.
这个团体自称“美国创新联盟”(Partnership for American Innovation)。它的成员觉得,目前美国媒体、国会及法院对专利体系抱有一种过分夸大的负面看法和敌意,因此它希望能遏制这个趋势。

The group's charter members are Apple (AAPL), DuPont (DD), Ford (F), General Electric (GE), IBM (IBM), Microsoft (MSFT), and Pfizer (PFE), and its "senior advisor" is Dave Kappos, the former director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, who is now a partner with the law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore. The group expects additional members to be enlisting in the days ahead, according to a spokesperson.
这个联盟的成员有苹果公司(Apple)、杜邦公司(DuPont)、福特公司(Ford)、通用电气公司(General Electric)、IBM公司、微软公司(Microsoft)和辉瑞公司(Pfizer)。它的“资深顾问”是戴夫•卡波斯,他曾任美国专利商标局(U.S. Patent and Trademark Office)主管,现在是科瓦斯•斯怀恩•摩尔国际律师事务所(Cravath, Swaine & Moore)的合伙人。据这个联盟的发言人称,他们这个组织希望今后有更多成员加盟。

"We must move beyond rhetoric that 'the system is broken and trolls are bringing businesses to a complete halt,'" Kappos says in a press release, "to a discussion of calibrated improvements for what is actually the best patent system our planet has."
卡波斯在新闻稿中说:“我们必须抛开那种所谓‘专利体系已经分崩离析,专利流氓正让专利业务彻底终结’的说法,转而探讨如何逐步优化我们这个全球最好的专利体系。”

The group's message is astoundingly basic, and not tied to support for, or opposition to, any particular patent reform bill now pending in Congress or to any one issue now being weighed by the U.S. Supreme Court. The group's members merely endorse three broad principles:
联盟的表态朴素得令人吃惊,它对目前正在国会悬而未决的专利改革法案或美国高等法院有待判决的专利案件既未支持也没反对。联盟成员只是对以下三大基本原则表示支持:

• "(1) The American economy is best served by a strong patent system that protects high-quality innovation in all fields of technology;
• “(1)强有力的专利体系保护所有技术领域的高质量创新成果,极大地促进了美国经济的发展;

• (2) It is critical to our global economy that IP is respected by all participants in the system; and
• (2)知识产权受到参与经济活动的各方充分尊重对于全球经济来说至关重要;并且

• (3) The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office must be properly funded to efficiently and effectively process patent applications and issue only high-quality patents."
• (3)美国专利商标局必须获得有效资助,以便及时有效地处理各类专利申请并只为高质量专利签发许可。”

Though the formation of the group is tied to no topical hook, it does arrive tellingly just three days after oral argument in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International, a U.S. Supreme Court case that poses the fundamental question of whether computer-implemented inventions like software are patentable at all.
尽管这个组织的成立并没有和什么热门议题挂钩,但意味深长的是,在爱丽斯公司诉CLS国际银行(Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International)这起热门官司的口头辩论结束后短短三天,它就宣告组建了。而这起官司是美国高等法院受理的案件,向各界提出了一个重大问题,也就是,软件这类由电脑完成的发明是否能够获得专利。

In an interview with Kappos, the most specific information I could wheedle out of him was that the new group's members all apparently agree that software is certainly patentable.
我在对卡波斯的采访中所能获得的最明确的信息是,这个组织的全体成员都明确表示,软件一定是可以申请专利的。

"How is it cars can parallel park themselves today?" he asks, rhetorically. "Is it the sensors? Is it the cameras? No. Those existed before. It's the software."
他颇为激动地反问道:“现在的汽车怎样做到自动平行泊车的?是靠传感器吗?还是靠摄像头?都不是。这些东西早就有了。只有软件才能让汽车做到这一点。”

"In the view of the partnership," he continues, "great innovation should be protected. Full stop. Software; firmware; biotech-related; physical sciences; pharmaceuticals: Great innovation is great innovation, and needs to be strongly incentivized and protected."
接着他继续说“在联盟成员看来,杰出的创新成果就应该受到保护。这没什么可多说的。软件、驱动程序、生物科技、物理科学、药品:杰出的创新就是杰出的创新,它们需要获得巨额的奖励和妥善的保护。”

In contrast, in the Alice case, a number of younger Silicon Valley companies, including LinkedIn (LNKD), Netflix (NFLX), Rackspace (RAX), Trulia (TRLA), and Twitter (TWTR), urged the Court that "software patents do not serve the Constitutional purpose of the patent system." In their brief, authored by Stanford Law School intellectual property scholar Mark Lemley, the companies argued: "We create innovative software because of our desire to delight our customers and despite, not because of the patent system ... Innovation happens despite software patents, not because of them."
但在爱丽斯公司一案中,一群年轻的硅谷企业,包括领英公司(LinkedIn)、奈飞公司(Netflix)、Rackspace公司、Trulia公司和Twitter公司却都向最高法院极力主张称“软件专利权与专利体系的法律目的不符”。这些公司在他们由斯坦福大学法学院(Stanford Law School)知识产权学者马克•莱姆利起草的简要声明中坚称:“我们之所以推出创新的软件,是因为我们希望取悦客户,而不是因为专利体系的存在……哪怕没有软件专利,我们照样会开展创新,专利不是我们创新的原因。”

Today's formation of the Partnership, then, may reflect a frustration comparable to that expressed in IBM's amicus brief in the CLS Bank case, which began with this cri de coeur: "Software is not a new technology. It has been around in various forms for well over half a century. During that time it has become one of the fundamental building blocks of innovation and technological advancement, and a critical part of our nation's economy. Software is the medium for innovation in every field, from automobile manufacturing to medicine. The fact that the Court is now -- in 2014 -- actively considering such a basic question as whether computer-implemented inventions such as software are even eligible for patent protection is deeply troubling." (IBM's attorneys were led by Paul Clement of the Bancroft law firm.)
目前成立的这个联盟可能正反映了几大巨头的一种失望情绪,这种情绪在IBM公司针对CLS银行一案的非当事人意见陈述中表现得淋漓尽致。这份陈述一开始就大声疾呼道:“软件并不是什么新技术。半个多世纪以来,各类软件一直层出不穷。在此期间,软件已成为创新和技术进步的基石之一,也是美国经济的重要组成部分。从汽车制造到药物研发,无论哪个产业领域,软件都是创新的重要手段。而当前——2014年——高等法院居然还要重审软件这类由电脑协助完成的创新是否应获得专利保护这个基本问题,实在令业界深感困扰。”【IBM律师团的领衔律师是班克罗夫特(Bancroft)律所的保罗•克莱门特。】



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