Three strategic dynamics may shape global innovation for decades on software and business methods.
- Alice and Progeny
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Alice and subsequent decisions by the Federal Circuit decreased the value of various information technologies by casting doubt patent eligibility for software. Artificial Intelligence ( AI ), machine learning and encryption related transaction handling algorithms (e.g. cryptocurrency and blockchain) were used in vague terms to attempt to secure patents that were seen too vague. That has not stopped filings for patents of this sort but definitely decreased filings and put to question value and enforceability in that line item; but it forced companies look to trade secret and copyright as potential other forms of protection in their intellectual property portfolios. But China, the newest innovation developer, by an order of magnitude, is going in the opposite direction with support for software and business methods that seem to be greater than U.S. protections.
2. Quantum Computing
Can quantum computing be seen as software or a process? It may not matter. China is building a $10B Quantum Information Sciences facility in the Anhui Province according to Bloomberg. This area is going to increase given the incentives in the new Revised Guidelines Set to Protect Business Models and software linked to above.
3. Long March IP Strategy
The emerging leader in intellectual property growth is China. WIPO reports exponential growth in patent filings from China, including software innovations, eschewed by Alice and USPTO disarray. Other sources do show huge declines in recent years but this seems to be an anomaly to other sources we’ve looked at; however, they do collaborate a trend we flagged in previous posts.
Strategy wins over scheme. The United States lacks a visible long term strategy. The trajectory of her leadership as a global intellectual property leader is either unspoken or unknown.