In the mid-1990s, one court ruled that anything may be patented so long as it has a technically physical aspect—-simply recording a number on a piece of paper is sufficient to make a mental or theoretical process a physical object under current patent law. This has led to patents on software, business methods, and tax loopholes. Because pencils and computers are everywhere, almost everyone now runs risk of prosecution for patent infringement. Since this expansion of what is patentable, problems with frivolous and malicious patent suits have grown to the point that they stifle the freedom to invent. Therefore, we intend to return the scope of what is patentable to include only bona fide physical devices such as machinery and chemicals.

Ben Klemens
Director of End Software Patents

An expert on computing policy and technology, Ben Klemens writes extensively on patent reform and other tech law issues and is currently a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of “Math You Can’t Use: Patents, Copyright, and Software” and the forthcoming “Modeling with Data”. He holds an MS and a PhD in Social Science from Caltech and a BA in Economics from the University of Chicago.

Advisory Board

Brad Feld

Managing Director at Foundry Group and Mobius Venture Capital. Brad founded Feld Technologies, and was Chief Technology Officer at AmeriData Technologies. Brad currently serves on the boards of a number of private companies, including Gold Systems, Judy’s Book, NewsGator, Rally Software, and StillSecure. In addition, he is on the board of The National Center for Women & Information Technology, The Community Foundation Serving Boulder County, and The Colorado Conservation Trust. Brad has previously been a member of the board of directors of the Young Entrepreneurs Organization and founded the Boston and Colorado chapters. He holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Management Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.