MR. GRAHAM:  Good afternoon.  As the 22nd witness today and the 47th witness
overall, I thank you, Commissioner Lehman, and the members of the panel for
your patience and continued interest in all the speakers that went yesterday
and have gone forward today.

Should the United States continue to provide patent protection for
software_related inventions?

The answer should be clear; yes, the United States should continue to
provide such patent protection.  Patent's own software_related inventions
are beneficial.  The ongoing evolution of patent jurisprudence with regard
to software_related inventions is sound and should be allowed to continue.

The United States section of the Federation International De Consul and
Propriete Industrial, that is FICPI. And in English it is International
Federation of Industrial Property Attorneys, appreciated the opportunity to
express its views on the subject of patenting software_related inventions.

FICPI was created on September 1, 1906, as an association of industrial
property attorneys in private practice. It's principal aims are: One, to
enhance international cooperation within the profession of industrial
property attorneys in private practice, promote the exchange of information,
and harmonize and facilitate relations between members.

Two, to maintain the dignity of its members and the standards of the
profession of industrial property attorneys in private practice on an
international scale.

And three, to express opinion with regard to newly proposed international
and national legislation insofar as it is of general concern to the
profession.  The members of the Federation deal generally with all matters
in the field of industrial property in the countries in which they practice
and in other countries through associates.  And especially to the extent
permitted by their national laws with A) filing and prosecution of
applications for patents and utility models where applicable, trademarks and
designs, and the maintenance of such industrial property rights.  And B)
advising in matters relating to industrial property rights, and those
concerning unfair competition, licensing, no_how, and transfers of

FICPI has as its members, the leading representatives of the private
practice bar in all major countries of the world. The United States section
of the Federation, known as FICPI/US, consists of over 100 U.S. attorneys in
private practice who specialize in intellectual property law.  The member of
FICPI/US, such as myself, come from both small and large law firms.

With respect to software_related invention matters, the members of FICPI/US
in their private practices represent small startup companies as well as
small, medium and large established companies.  Representation includes:
obtaining patent protection on software_related inventions, asserting
patents on software_related inventions, and defending against the assertion
of such patents, as well as general counseling on software_related
inventions with respect to U.S. intellectual property law.

For the record, I am Barry Graham, and am a partner in the law firm of
Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow and Dunner, in the firm's Washington, D.C.
office.  My partner Bob Yoches spoke here yesterday.

The following represent the view of FICPI/US, and not necessarily the views
of the World Federation, my law firm or myself.  The World Federation
however, has spoken actively in support of protection for software_related
inventions by use of the patent laws.

The views address briefly question No. 4 of the public notice focussing on
the patent system; FICPI/US believes, based upon actual experiences various
members have encountered in representation of clients in the U.S., that the
present framework of the patent system as it has and continues to evolve has
and will continue to effectively provide innovation in the field of software
by providing adequate protection to software_related inventions.

The patent system promotes innovation by assisting startup companies and
establishing themselves by obtaining needed capital to operate and grow,
based in part at least on company assets in the form of patents on
software_related inventions developed by the companies.  These startup
companies can then continue their research and development on new
software_related inventions, using the startup monies obtained.

For example, and inventor developed a neural network system for forecasting
stock price movement, the system uses a math program.  After learning that
patent protection was possible on software_related inventions and was
beneficial, the inventor filed for patent protection.  Based on the filing,
the patent applicant's business went forward successfully generating income.

The patent system also promotes innovation by helping startup companies and
established companies protect their commercial products and thereby promote
the development in bringing to the market new commercial products.  For
example, a small company developed a TV rating system, the company sought
patent protection on its new system which included software.  The company
has now been able to go into the market and compete against established
systems such as the well known A.C. Nielsen Company system.

Another example involves a well established company. The company developed a
software_based BUS protocol for its line of computer systems, and obtained
patent protection on the protocol.  The company licenced the protected
technology, and has used monies generated from its licensing to fund further

Those undertakings coupled with the efforts of the federal courts in
providing guidance in the evolution of patent jurisprudence have and will
continue to provide a sound patent system for software_related inventions. 
These efforts will in turn help foster innovation in the ever burgeoning
field of software, all to the benefit of the United States.  The evolution
should be allowed to continue without artificial or quick_fixes to an
already adequate patent system.

Furthermore, it should be noted that the United States has with success
encouraged countries within the international community to adopt laws which
allow patent protection for software_related inventions.  If the United
States were now to dismantle its own laws on patent protection for such
inventions, our country would lose much credibility within the international

On behalf of FICPI/US, I thank you, Commissioner Lehman, the panel members
and all of those at the PTO responsible for these hearings, for setting up
the hearings and for the time allowed for my comments presented today for
the Unites States section OF FICPI.

COMMISSIONER LEHMAN:  Thank you very much for your compliment, and thank you
for coming.

Next I'd like to call Edward Y.W. Lemon, III.  He's a software engineer with
Network Computing Devices.

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