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Is it a good criteria for swpats?: "One can touch a computer or a network cable, but one cannot touch the internet" http://r.im/1rke
by: zoobabzoobab
04 Jun 2009 13:40
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This court is now presented with the question of whether recitation of "over the Internet" suffices to tie a process claim to a particular machine. There are at least three reasons why it does not. First, the test requires that a claimed process be tied to "a particular machine." . . . The internet is a network of millions of individual machines. Indeed, the internet was initially conceptualized as a network robust enough to withstand the loss of a large number of particular machines . . . The internet continues to exist despite the addition or subtraction of any particular piece of hardware . . . One can touch a computer or a network cable, but one cannot touch "the internet."
by: zoobabzoobab
04 Jun 2009 13:35
1  
All of our hard work and dreams were almost ruined in the summer of 2008, when we were sued for alleged patent violations by a company called FotoMedia. We felt strongly that we were not in violation of any of the patents owned by FotoMedia; however, a small company like FotoTime has very limited resources and time for litigating patent disputes. In our estimation, patent litigation would have cost between $5 and $10 million. In addition, litigating these allegations would have probably taken 1 to 2 years. As a small business, we could afford neither the dollar cost of the litigation nor the cost in manpower to fight it.
by: zoobabzoobab
04 Jun 2009 13:28
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FotoMedia has accused FotoTime and the other defendants of infringing three patents it holds related to organizing and sharing images online. [...] "All our hard work and dreams were almost ruined in the summer of 2008, when we were sued for alleged patent violations by a company called FotoMedia," FotoTime co-owner Karl Swierenga wrote. [...] Patents on "organizing and sharing images online"? Surely these are "business methods". I hope the Supreme Court (In Re Bilski) can bring some sanity to this ridiculous software patent mess the lawyers have gotten us into.
by: zoobabzoobab
04 Jun 2009 13:05
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Carlsbad Tech., Inc. v. HIF Bio, Inc. involved a patented invention, but the issue before the Supreme Court was not a patent issue; it involved federal vs. state jurisdiction. From the oral arguments held on February 24: Mr. Rhodes: I can't suggest what the Court might finally decide other than to say that -- that, again, the circuit courts of appeal have uniformly applied this. They seem to be -- Chief Justice Roberts: Well, they don't have a choice, right? They can't say, I don't like the Supreme Court rule so I'm not going to apply it, other than the Federal Circuit. (Laughter in the court.) This rebuke seems to indicate that as Roberts sees it, the Federal Circuit has a habit of blowing off Supreme Court precedent. That little aside could have deeper meaning in light of the court's decision to take up Bilski.
by: zoobabzoobab
04 Jun 2009 12:29
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Dell, HP, Fujitsu and IBM have been hit by a lawsuit in the Eastern District of Texas Marshall Division famously known for its ability to expedite patent (chapter 830) disputes. The article linked to points out that it is unfair to describe anyone bringing patent suits to court as "patent trolls" - they have to have a sound case and deserve their time in court. So who exactly are the trolls? In this latest case, a company called Lochner Technologies LLC alleges the four computer vendors have breached a patent it owns, US 7,035,598 called Modular Computer System. The patent was issued to Scott M. Lochner and Meir Bartur in 2006. The suit claims that Dell breaches its patent on systems using its Remote Desktop system, including XenServer and XenDesktop thin clients.
by: zoobabzoobab
04 Jun 2009 12:27
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Basically I remain convinced that the patent policy most fair and most suitable for the world will regard mathematical ideas (such as algorithms) to be not subject to proprietary patent rights. For example, it would be terrible if somebody were to have a patent on an integer, like say 1009, so that nobody would be able to use that number "with further technical effect" without paying for a license. Although many software patents have unfortunately already been granted in the past, I hope that this practice will not continue in future. If Europe leads the way in this, I expect many Americans would want to emigrate so that they could continue to innovate in peace!
by: zoobabzoobab
04 Jun 2009 11:44
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In Europe, patents are not generally available for software (known in legal jargon as ‘software as such’), but inventions with technical effect that are implemented by software (sometimes called ‘computer-implemented inventions’ or ‘CIIs’) are patentable in the same way as other inventions. National patent offices and the European Patent Office have granted patents on CIIs since 1973. Computer-implemented inventions which only solve a business problem using a computer, rather than a technical problem, are considered unpatentable as lacking an inventive step, although they are allowed in the United States. Controversial proposals to widen CII provisions in Europe to include business methods were rejected by the European Parliament in 2006 […check date??].
by: zoobabzoobab
03 Jun 2009 13:44
1  
However, technology and financial services companies, which are the most directly affected by the case, have been divided over its implications. Microsoft said that software patents were not at risk from the Bilski decision. "For decades, the Supreme Court has been clear, and we are in agreement, that mere abstract ideas are not and should not be patentable," said Horacio Gutiérrez, the company’s deputy general counsel.
by: zoobabzoobab
03 Jun 2009 10:36
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AMQP is not patented technology. OpenAMQ is not patented technology. We think our technology is so good that it does not need the protection of patents. We think our company is good enough to compete in a free market. Indeed, we welcome competition and we want our users to have the fullest possible choice of AMQP suppliers. We believe more generally that software patents are a bad thing for the software business, for open standards, and for customer, and we support efforts to ban them in Europe and the United States.
by: zoobabzoobab
02 Jun 2009 13:18
1  
But that same court, the Federal Circuit, was also the one that put limits on business methods with its Bilski ruling. "If you read the Federal Circuit decision, they themselves couldn't agree, and with something of this magnitude it would have been good to have more of a consensus," said Chen. The biotech and industrial engineering industries, which patents methods of monitoring or testing, will be watching this decision closely, said Pavan Agarwal, a patent attorney with Foley and Lardner LLP. "The entire software industry cares about this," said Agarwal.
by: zoobabzoobab
02 Jun 2009 12:46
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While WeatherWise's process runs on a computer, Warsaw said he and Bilski opted against citing that machine in their patent application. "Should we have? It's 20-20 hindsight," he said, but he pointed out that their method could be worked out using a pencil and paper.
by: zoobabzoobab
02 Jun 2009 12:37
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The Bilski case has a modern cast to it, for at least two reasons: first, it involves the concept of digitizing business methods through creation of new computer software, and, second, it involves the rapid growth of information technology in global commerce. The case is expected to draw a larger number of friend-of-court briefs on both sides of the patentability question. The Bilski-Warsaw petition already has attracted a number of amici.
by: zoobabzoobab
02 Jun 2009 11:26
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By agreeing to weigh in on the case, the high court is venturing into controversial terrain. Critics of business-method patents say it was never the intent of the law to protect such things, which in their view are often far closer to abstract concepts or mathematical algorithms rather than physical inventions. Proponents say they are key to promoting innovation in today's knowledge- and service-based economy. ... The court's decision to review the Bilski case caught many observers by surprise. The Bilski patent claims are widely viewed as vulnerable to challenge on a number of grounds, and the sense among some experts was it would make a poor test case. ... The Supreme Court won't hear arguments in Bilski until its next term, which begins in October. A ruling is likely during the first half of 2010.
by: zoobabzoobab
02 Jun 2009 11:25
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H.264 is heavily patented, and H.264 implementors typically acquire patent licenses from MPEG LA. However, as noted in [1], Chrome's use of ffmpeg for codec support subjects it to the LGPL, which requires that any such licenses be fully transferable and unrestricted. How does Google intend to meet its legal obligations in reference to H.264 (and AAC)?
by: zoobabzoobab
02 Jun 2009 10:57
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The Supreme Court today granted certiorari to the patent applicants in the In re Bilski case, an en banc decision from the Federal Circuit last fall. In doing so, the Court continued its recent history of more direct supervision of the Federal Circuit, a decision made more notable by the Federal Circuit's express reliance on its interpretation of Supreme Court precedent in crafting a legal test for patentability of method claims. Since it is rare for the Supreme Court to take a decision merely to affirm (something the Court has even more rarely done with Federal Circuit opinions), it is likely that the Federal Circuit's "machine or transformation" test will be modified if not completely abrogated.
by: zoobabzoobab
02 Jun 2009 10:49
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One of the critics of the Federal Circuit's Bilski decision is Kevin Noonan, a partner at the Chicago firm McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff. In the Patentdocs blog -- written by patent lawyers with doctorates in scientific fields --he said in January that Bilski is "spreading like a stain" to mar a broad range of patents. Noonan is also the ex-husband of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. Noonan could not be reached for comment.
by: zoobabzoobab
02 Jun 2009 10:45
1  
That leaves patents. In re Bilski, No. 08-964 (certiorari petition filed Jan. 28, 2009), is an important case in which the Federal Circuit curtailed the patentability of software-implemented business methods. According to SCOTUSBlog, there is a good chance the Supreme Court will grant review of the Bilski decision. Bilski was up for discussion yesterday at the Supreme Court's private cert-consideration conference, so we could know as early as Monday if Judge Sotomayor will have that one facing her in the fall. I have no idea what Judge Sotomayor's views are on the patentability of software-implemented business method patents, and I don't think anyone else does either.
by: zoobabzoobab
02 Jun 2009 10:41
1  
On Monday, June 1, 2009, the United States Supreme Court granted cert. in Bilski v. Doll. This means that the last chapter on business methods and software has not yet been written, which could be good news or bad news depending upon your particular take. I have wondered out loud about allowing software patents as patentable subject matter, which I think is the right thing to do myself.
by: zoobabzoobab
02 Jun 2009 10:30
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Whether the Federal Circuit erred by holding that a “process” must be tied to a particular machine or apparatus, or transform a particular article into a different state or thing (“machine-or-transformation” test), to be eligible for patenting under 35 U.S.C. § 101, despite this Court’s precedent declining to limit the broad statutory grant of patent eligibility for “any” new and useful process beyond excluding patents for “laws of nature, physical phenomena, and abstract ideas.” Whether the Federal Circuit’s “machine-or-transformation” test for patent eligibility, which effectively forecloses meaningful patent protection to many business methods, contradicts the clear Congressional intent that patents protect “method[s] of doing or conducting business.” 35 U.S.C. § 273.
by: zoobabzoobab
02 Jun 2009 10:27
1  
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