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On Monday, November 9th, the Supreme Court will hear the case of Bilski's business method patent. Being the first review of patentable subject matter since 1981, this decision could make the rules for decades to come. The court will review the 2008 ruling of the CAFC which created the "particular machine or transformation" test. This test, depending on who's reading it, could significantly narrow the scope for patenting software ideas. The Supreme Court isn't obliged to rule on the patentability of software ideas. Bilski's patent is a business method patent, not a software patent. So why might the court make a broad ruling which would cover software? For people who are already aware of the legal arguments, I'd like to offer a review of the socio-economic arguments for abandoning software patents.
by: ggiedkeggiedke
06 Nov 2009 20:16
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When the U.S. Supreme Court rules in the now-famous Bilski case, it should take the opportunity to level the playing field for entrepreneurs whose work has been impeded by patent trolls and broad corporate patent portfolios.
by: ggiedkeggiedke
06 Nov 2009 20:02
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Where are all the news stories gone??? Is this site still operating?
by: mosseymossey
02 Nov 2009 09:16
2 by zoobabzoobab
02 Nov 2009 09:52 Jump!
The committee on economic and monetary affairs (ECON), responsible for regulating the financial sector, will be chaired by British MEP Sharon Bowles. Bowles was previously accused of having a conflict of interests after pushing for software patents while also being partner in a law firm run by her husband representing clients with a direct interest in software patent protection. There has also been controversy over the newly-elected chair of the Legal Affairs Committee, Klaus Heiner Lehne. During the previousl administration, Lehne was one of the MEPs pushing strongly for software patents. At the same time he was a partner at Taylor Wessing, a law firm with a large patent department advising clients on patenting strategy in the software sector.
by: zoobabzoobab
28 Aug 2009 12:04
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The Ubuntu project strives to deliver a free and complete Operating System fit for general use. Over the years the topic of software patents and their impact on Open Source have been controversial in some parts of the world. This policy outlines the agreed set of standards and procedures surrounding software patents and Ubuntu.
by: zoobabzoobab
17 Aug 2009 15:12
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That price doesn't reflect the inherent value of the technology described in the patent. For low-quality patents, the price reflects the cost of defending against the patent in court. High-quality patents are different, with prices reflecting the cost of not owning it. "The tricky thing with patents is that the value of the patent depends not so much on the patent itself but the revenue that is compromised for the company against whom the patent is asserted," Gutierrez said.
by: zoobabzoobab
07 Aug 2009 13:24
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In Japan, the software patent system has been reformed and now software has become a patentable subject matter. In this paper, this pro-patent shift on software is surveyed and its impact on software innovation is analyzed. Before the 1990's, inventions related to software could not be patented by themselves, but they could be applied when combined with hardware related inventions. Therefore, integrated electronics firms used to be the major software patent applicants. However, during the period from the late 1990's to the early 2000's, when software patent reforms were introduced, innovative activities (measuring patent applications) by independent software development firms began.
by: zoobabzoobab
06 Aug 2009 21:10
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The European Commission's Directorate-General for Internal Market and Services has published a call for tenders for a study on the quality of the patent system in Europe. The aim is to conduct an economic analysis of the quality of patent rights in order to propose effective policy solutions for the optimal functioning of the future patent system in Europe, considering its objectives to encourage innovation and the diffusion of new technology and knowledge. This should take into account the co-existence of national and European patents, as well as a future Community patent, which is currently being negotiated between Member States.
by: zoobabzoobab
06 Aug 2009 21:08
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In light of this, Ogg Theora seems like a good alternative as it doesn’t seem to be encumbered by patents. Google and Apple, though, are not so sure. They believe Theora hasn’t been cooking long enough to draw the attention of any submarine patent holders. Theora advocates turn this argument around and suggest that H.264 could also have undiscovered patent encumbrances. I appreciate the logic of what they’re saying, but the fact that H.264 is already so wildly popular for so long seems to guarantee that any patent trolls would have surfaced by now. In any case, this is a great illustration of just how profoundly broken the patent system is, with respect to software. Instead of encouraging innovation, it is stifling it.
by: zoobabzoobab
04 Aug 2009 18:47
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The Open Invention Network (OIN) today announced that it was starting a new programme to acquire patents from "entrepreneurial inventors". The Distinguished Inventors Patent Acquisition programme offers cash for accepted patents while allowing the inventor to patent enhancements to the accepted patent. The OIN believe the programme will help independent inventors turn their patents into money, without them selling their patents to patent trolls, or companies seeking to "impede innovation".
by: zoobabzoobab
04 Aug 2009 18:21
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Before he knew it, Josefsson was part of a movement which claims to be saving the world from corporate control. In 2002 he became one of the leading opponents of the EU's software patent directive. He co-founded the Swedish chapter of the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) with Engström and, without any knowledge of how to lobby politicians, he spearheaded the campaign against the directive. “When the directive was proposed in 2002, I and many others started following this from scratch,” he says. “We were computer programmers, students or entrepreneurs, and we knew nothing about how the EU worked. “It eventually developed into a grassroots movement equal in strength to the business associations and lobby groups you normally find in Brussels, to those whose views are normally heard and listened to,” he says. [...] By early 2005, more than 400,000 people had signed a petition against the software patent directive and later that year it was rejected by the Parliament.
by: zoobabzoobab
01 Aug 2009 18:00
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Skype licenses peer-to-peer communication technology from Joltid Limited pursuant to a license agreement between the parties. The parties had been discussing a dispute over the license. In March 2009, Skype Technologies S.A. filed a claim in the English High Court of Justice (No. HC09C00756) against Joltid Limited. Following the filing of the claim, Joltid purported to terminate the license agreement between the parties. In particular, Joltid has alleged that Skype should not possess, use or modify certain software source code and that, by doing so, and by disclosing such code in certain U.S. patent cases pursuant to orders from U.S. courts, Skype has breached the license agreement.
by: zoobabzoobab
01 Aug 2009 17:37
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We also use copyright to partially deflect the danger of software patents. We cannot make our programs safe from them — no program is ever safe from software patents in a country which allows them — but at least we prevent them from being used to make the program effectively non-free. The Swedish Pirate Party proposes to abolish software patents, and if that is done, this issue would go away. But until that is achieved, we must not lose our only defense for protection from patents.
by: zoobabzoobab
25 Jul 2009 19:05
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A few days later, an interview with Microsoft President Bob Muglia was published, and he made it clear that they considered C# one of these so-called "patented innovations": ...the fact that [GNU/Linux] uses our patented intellectual property [sic] is a problem for our shareholders. We spend $7 billion a year on R&D, our shareholders expect us to protect or license or get economic benefit from our patented innovations. So how do we somehow get the appropriate economic return for our patented innovation...?
by: zoobabzoobab
18 Jul 2009 14:17
2 by pieterhpieterh
18 Jul 2009 15:59 Jump!
Ten years ago, Amazon.com riled the tech world when it sued Barnes & Noble with a patent on "1-click" buying. Critics cried that clicking once to order a book wasn't really an invention -- and certainly not worthy of a patent. And it became the poster child for a patent system gone overboard. Now, Amazon is defending itself against Cordance Corp., a company that claims it filed for its patent on 1-click ordering before Amazon's application. The case, filed in 2006, is set for trial on Aug. 3 in Delaware -- and Fenwick & West's Lynn Pasahow, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based lawyer who worked to enforce Amazon's 1-click patent, will now play defense for the online bookseller.
by: zoobabzoobab
18 Jul 2009 15:42
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Bilski involves issues regarding what can be patented, and the Supreme Court decision could change the current approach to "method patents," and perhaps even impact "software patents." A further and more significant change may come from the President's nomination of David Kappos of IBM to be the next Director of the Patent Office. While in the past, IBM was a prolific filer of patent applications, many of them covering business methods and software, it has filed an amicus brief in Bilski opposing the patentability of business method patents. However, and perhaps not surprisingly, IBM defends approval of software patents. Mr. Kappos announced his opposition to business method patents last year by stating that "[y]ou're creating a new 20-year monopoly for no good reason." Thus, it is unclear where Mr. Kappos will attempt to draw the line between software and business method inventions worthy of patent protection.
by: zoobabzoobab
18 Jul 2009 14:13
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I am a software engineer who writes about that topic and related areas of computer science. Recently, I published an article titled Software Engineering != Computer Science, which discusses the differences between programming and formal (mathematical) computer science. In response to that article, IPWatchdog.com kindly invited me to comment about some of the controversy surrounding patents for software. I gladly accepted. My position is that software must be patentable, or 500 years of patent laws make no sense.
by: zoobabzoobab
17 Jul 2009 15:05
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A Stamford patent agent and a Massachusetts actuary have paired to seek a patent on an insurance product aimed at promoting safety among teen motorists. Mark Nowotarski, president of Markets, Patents & Alliances LLC, said today the U.S. Patent Office could rule by late June on their patent application (No. 20090063201) filed last October for the SoberTeen Driving Insurance product.
by: zoobabzoobab
16 Jul 2009 16:42
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But a more ambiguous "ownership" is emerging when the question turns to car insurance patents, where the rules of the game are still unfolding and patents that once seemed solid may no longer be. Under a major decision handed down last fall, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit interpreted federal law to make it much more difficult to patent "business methods."
by: zoobabzoobab
16 Jul 2009 15:56
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Mark Nowotarski is the President of Markets, Patents & Alliances L.L.C. and is a registered U.S. patent agent specializing in business method patents. He currently serves clients in the insurance, financial services, medical devices and manufacturing industries. Mark is also co-editor of the Insurance IP Bulletin. The Insurance IP Bulletin is dedicated to providing useful information to innovators in the insurance industry regarding the protection of their inventions with patents and ways to effectively promote their innovation.
by: zoobabzoobab
16 Jul 2009 15:53
1