Monday, October 25, 2010

My First Patent gets issued

I just learned that my first ever patent was issued. The title of the patent is "METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR LANGUAGE IDENTIFICATION" and the full text can be download here. It is amazing how long it takes for a patent to be issued. The idea was developed back in 2003 when I was working with the Languageware team and the patent is registered in the name of several of the Languageware team members. I have filed a few more patents in the years since, but none have yet been issued.

I must admit that I have mixed opinions about Patents. At one level I am very proud to have a patent issued in my name and having patents is considered very helpful in advancing your career inside IBM. However, I am also very aware and sympathetic to the arguments of people who argue that the current system of granting software patents is fundamentally flawed. I would consider that this particular patent has valid inventiveness and it does seem to still have value 7 years later, but I know that many patents have been registered for ideas of very little merit.

IBM has a similar mixed attitude to patents. At one level IBM are very proud of our record of being the company to whom most patents were granted for over 15 years in a row, but on the other hand IBM are also promoting an initiative to improve the quality standard for patents.

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