Landing : Athabascau University

Week 6 Reflections


A patent is the exclusive right granted to an individual or an organization to produce a product. The patent is usually granted by a government or some government appointment body. Patents offer inventors protection by preventing others from reproducing their inventions. Every country have their own guidelines used in approving patent application.

Just like any product, software can be patented as well.  However there have been debates on whether software should\ can be patented. The reasoning behind this is the fact that new software is usually developed by using a programming language or technique that is already in existence. Common programming language used as building blocks include C, Visual Basic and Assembly language. The ongoing patent issue I discussed in the group wiki between Cisco and Arista highlights this fact.  Cisco claims about 500 commands used in its network operating system was copied by Arista. However Arista is calming these commands are general industry standards\commands which are not proprietary in any way. Although Cisco’s network operating system is patented, the question is if the patents extends to the commands used in the network operating systems. Some of systems network operating system include “enable”, “config”, “interface” and “route” which are all English words.

In Canada, the Intellectual Property Office is responsible for managing patents and also accessing and approving patent applications.

A patent owner usually faces a dilemma whenever they have to file a patent suit. The have to evaluate if the patent infringement is worth the cost and time spent in litigation.  In Canada, efforts have been made to speed up the patent litigation process by creating a standard set of procedures to be used in the litigation process. An example is setting a fixed schedule for the litigation process including fixed dates for trials and a decision. This will ensure that the hearings do not proceed for an extended period of time.