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First, software patents represent an important, and growing, component of university patent holdings. Second, the main determinant of university software patenting is not computer science-related R&D (or even overall R&D) but the university’s overall tendency to seek patents on R&D outputs. The second finding indicates that universities may be using a “one size fits all” technology transfer strategy. The problem with such a strategy is that software is likely to follow a different commercialization path than other types of university-generated invention. One possible consequence is lawsuits in which university patents are being asserted against firms that have commercialized independent of the patent.
by: zoobabzoobab
23 Nov 2007 17:34
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"A patent troll is somebody who tries to make a lot of money off of a patent that they are not practicing and have no intention of practicing and in most cases never practiced" -Peter Detkin, former assistant general counsel at Intel. That's the quote on the front page of the document advertising the world's first Patent Troll conference. It also perfectly describes exactly what Patent Troll Scot Lewis of 1st Tech and his Patent Troll lawyer bosses are and what they do. A Patent Troll convention is the modern day equivalent of when all the pirates used to get together on some island in the Caribbean and discuss the proper pillaging practices of a fine upstanding rogue of the sea.
by: zoobabzoobab
23 Nov 2007 17:28
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Of relevance to us is the fact that Linux is sometimes a victim. Consider Compiz-Fusion (this one used to speak about a an Aladdin lamp-like effect) and AWN (implementing stacks from Leopard) get crippled due to Apple patents, regardless of prior art. The developers implement features which they later decide not to deliver due to fear of Apple. It is worth appending a list of patent stories which we’ve collected about Apple.
by: zoobabzoobab
23 Nov 2007 17:24
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Germany, the EU's largest member state and biggest patent filer, has insisted that so-called invalidation cases should be treated separately from those relating to alleged infringements of a patent without the permission of a right holder. As a result, it is envisaged that infringement cases would be heard by national or regional courts in EU member states rather than by the new judicial body. The idea of a 'European patent judiciary' was proposed by Charles McCreevy, the EU's internal market commissioner, earlier this year. He advocated that this body should be responsible for examining complaints over patents issued both by national administrations and by the European Patent Office in Munich. Yet while the principal ingredients of the litigation scheme have been agreed, discussions on some of its finer points are expected to continue into 2008.
by: zoobabzoobab
23 Nov 2007 17:17
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The defendant characterizes these as "technical features". However, while they may be advantages of the invention, they are not achieved by technical means ­which is standard. They are achieved by changing the business process ­ i.e. changing the sequence of steps - in which the terminals are used. The claim is to how a business uses a known system. In Mr Fernando's analogy, it is not the cash register which is being claimed, but the way in which it is used. The contribution falls squarely within the business method exclusion. It also falls within the computer program exclusion given its implementation by means of a computer program.
by: zoobabzoobab
23 Nov 2007 17:13
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A patent for the handling of gratuities in card payments has been revoked by the UK Intellectual Property Office (IPO) for being a business method implemented by a computer program. The decision follows recently-revised guidance on patentability.
by: zoobabzoobab
23 Nov 2007 17:06
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Apple has agreed to pay Burst.com $10m to settle the patent infringement challenge the smaller US company launched against it in April 2006. Back then, Burst.com claimed Apple's iTunes Music Store, QuickTime streaming software and the iPod all incorporate without permission technology detailed in four patents held by Burst.com: 4,963,995; 5,995,705; 5,057,932 and 5,164,839. The IP covers the transmission of compressed audio and video files over the net.
by: zoobabzoobab
22 Nov 2007 14:02
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Just in time for holiday shopping, the USPTO has awarded Amazon a patent for Generating Current Order Fulfillment Plans Based on Expected Future Orders, which explains how to use modeled net present value to adjust an order's delivery date favorably or unfavorably based upon expectations that the customer will have high-profit orders in the future. So don't blame Santa if that special gift isn't under the tree on Christmas morning, kids - it could just be dear-old-Dad's low NPV score!
by: zoobabzoobab
22 Nov 2007 14:00
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The European Commission has set out its vision, in the form of a Communication, for improving the patent system in Europe and for revitalising the debate on this issue. (IP/07/463). Making the Community patent a reality and improving the existing patent litigation system should, together with supporting measures, make the patent system more accessible and bring cost savings for all. The paper highlights that Europe's current patent system is considerably more expensive than the US and Japanese systems. A Community patent would be far more attractive than models under the present system which is a bundle of national patents.
by: zoobabzoobab
22 Nov 2007 13:57
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Mandriva has become the third major Linux distributor to publicly announce it has no intention to join Microsoft in licensing and non-litigation pacts. Red Hat and Ubuntu have made similar statements, while Novell, Xandros and Linspire have partnered with Microsoft in sharing licensed technology and agreeing not to sue each other over possible patent infringements.
by: zoobabzoobab
22 Nov 2007 13:56
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The hearing officer then followed the established Aerotel/Macrossan four-step approach to determine whether the invention was excluded from patentability under section 1(2). The contribution, determined to be that of allowing existing online authorisation and uploading requests to contain a gratuity in their amount, was considered to be a method for doing business as such, and also a computer program since its implementation would be in software running on otherwise conventional hardware. Any “technical features”, while possibly advantages of the invention, would not be achieved by technical means, but by changing the business uses of a known system. Any reference to whether the contribution was technical in nature would make no difference to the outcome, once the contribution was determined to fall solely within excluded subject matter. The hearing officer consequently ordered the patent to be revoked.
by: zoobabzoobab
22 Nov 2007 10:42
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The difficulties in making progress on patents and especially on the creation of a Community patent led the Commission to launch, in 2006, a broad consultation of all interested parties on the future patent system. The results leave no doubt on the urgent need for action to provide a simple, cost-effective and high-quality patent system in Europe.
by: zoobabzoobab
21 Nov 2007 22:25
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One needs to understand that there is fundamentally no difference between software and hardware; each is frequently expressed in terms of the other, interchangeably describing the same thing. For example, many microprocessors are conceptualized as software through the use of hardware description languages (HDL) such as Bluespec System Verilog and VHDL. The resulting HDL software code is downloaded to special microprocessors known as FPGAs (field programmable gate arrays), which can mimic a prospective chip's design and functions for testing. Eventually, the HDL code may be physically etched into silicon. Voilà! The software becomes hardware.
by: zoobabzoobab
21 Nov 2007 22:23
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It's not surprising, of course, to find out that the piece was penned by a patent attorney -- hardly an unbiased source in the matter. He also makes other mistakes and incorrect assumptions about why people dislike software patents. It's not just because most people find the patents obvious in hindsight (as he suggests), but because people understand that innovation is an ongoing process of building on the ideas of others -- and blocking off simple ideas with patents makes it nearly impossible to continue that process.
by: zoobabzoobab
21 Nov 2007 11:24
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Here is a group of recently-submitted videos that demonstate Europe’s resistance to software patents.
by: zoobabzoobab
21 Nov 2007 10:21
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Once further consensus has been reached on the jurisdictional system, solutions for the Community patent will be explored since a number of Member States consider that the jurisdictional system and the Community patent should form a package.
by: zoobabzoobab
20 Nov 2007 15:09
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The jury invalidated the patent on the grounds that it was obvious and did not describe a new technology. Patent 5,933,630 was filed in June 1997, and describes a method of recording the files accessed while a program starts up, optimising the sequence and on subsequent launches moving all the required data into a RAM cache. Computer Acceleration Corporation was seeking $US2.50 for every copy of XP sold in the US, which could have totalled as much as $US900 million.
by: zoobabzoobab
19 Nov 2007 16:39
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Second, and maybe more important, is the fact that the U.S. patent situation is a mess because of software patents. It’s a minefield that is so difficult to navigate that even big companies that can afford to hire a battery of lawyers can still step on a nasty and get its feet blown off. Smaller software development companies probably aren’t going to be better off. It’s like playing hopscotch on a minefield; and minefields don’t discriminate. They blow up everyone. How can developers innovate with this insane setup? With great difficulty and at great risk. It’s just better to abolish all software patents entitrely. After all, if you want people to really be safe on a minefield, you don’t start handing out metal detectors. You clear the minefield. That’s the only real solution.
by: zoobabzoobab
19 Nov 2007 16:11
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Tax patents undermine the integrity and fairness of the federal tax system. They put taxpayers in the undesirable position of having to choose between paying more than legally required in taxes or paying a royalty to a third-party for use of a tax planning invention that reduces those taxes. Congress needs to level the playing field and improve options for taxpayers.
by: zoobabzoobab
19 Nov 2007 16:01
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Yesterday, I posted a big list of VoIP Patent questions that friends have been asking me ever since I started blogging. Since I've got clients who retain me as an expert witness in patent lawsuits, and since I'm an inventor on 18 patents, they figure I might know the answers to questions like "Don't other companies have VoIP patents, too, not just Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint?"
by: zoobabzoobab
19 Nov 2007 15:54
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