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However, the Ministry of Economic Development says the third-stage review has already been completed and software patentability stands. "The Bill incorporates the outcomes of all three stages of the review. The issue of software patents was considered as part of the third stage, but a decision was taken not to exclude software from patentability," says an MED spokeswoman. Harrison suggests that accepting software patents, even tacitly, represents a capitulation to the view of United States authorities, and abandons a potentially powerful weapon in negotiations towards a New Zealand-US free trade agreement. Similar points have been made on the copyright and music-piracy fronts.
by: zoobabzoobab
21 Jun 2009 21:35
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The possibility of getting a tech-friendly name to head the USPTO is likely to be good news for many in the IT sector, which is rife with complaints about the current U.S. patent system. For one thing, IT patent cases have been on a sharp rise over the past few years, with a growing number of cases brought by "non-practicing entities," or "patent trolls" as they're often called by critics.
by: zoobabzoobab
21 Jun 2009 15:00
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David Garrod, who left Goodwin Procter in 2008 to found a company called Bedrock Computer Technologies, believes in the value of intellectual property. He has to: Bedrock is an East Texas-based patent enforcement company that, as Joe Mullin reports this week at IP Law & Business, just filed an infringement suit against seven big Internet companies, including Google, Amazon, and MySpace. Garrod's using the folks from McKool Smith--well-known for bold representation of IP plaintiffs--to prosecute Bedrock's case.
by: zoobabzoobab
21 Jun 2009 12:45
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Software patents are not currently available in New Zealand, although several companies have tried to get “by the back door”, i.e. by tying the software idea they want to patent to some piece of hardware. A software patent is a state-enforced monopoly on a idea. They exist in the US and some other countries, but not in many places including New Zealand. We don’t need or want them here.
by: zoobabzoobab
19 Jun 2009 19:30
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Claim: (Ex Parte Borenstein) A method for providing catalog information for presentation to a user of a store in an electronic commerce system, comprising the steps of... BPAI: while the storage of information in independent claim 1 could arguably be done as a mental process, the recitation of a structured relationship between multiple stores that requires “path information” inherently implies that this information must be stored on a computer or database. This “particular” computer or database is sufficient structure to meet the machine prong of the machine-or-transformation test of In re Bilski. As independent claim 15 recites a computer program product, it is not a method claim that must be analyzed under In re Bilski.
by: zoobabzoobab
19 Jun 2009 19:09
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Allies of the free Codec did not leave this provocative statement uncontested for long: Greg Maxwell from Xiph published a comparison between H.263/H.264 and the current Theora version on his homepage. He came to the conclusion that Theora’s smaller bitrate clearly cuts better than the currently used on Youtube H.263 Codec and the patent protected H.264 Codec. Maxwell also received support from Mozilla developers and Wikimedia fans. David Gerard emphasized that the MPEG LA would begin to charge license fees for streaming with H.264. For this reason, many fear Codec will not indefinitely possess the capability of being used easily anymore. A crucial point on possible alternatives to Theora was brought up by free consultant Silvia Pfeiffer and explained that the danger of a submarine patent in Theora is very low.
by: zoobabzoobab
18 Jun 2009 15:06
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It’s not just about the profits of the pharmaceutical industry. The proposed alternative to pharmaceutical patents starts from the fact that the big pharmaceutical companies officially admit they only spend 15% of their revenues on research, to suggest that the governments could take 20% of what they currently spend on drugs (which is a lot of money!) and allocate it to pharmaceutical research, with the results free to anyone. However, the Pirate Party is the only political party to have asserted that all kind of patents have to be abolished, not only the pharmaceutical patents and the software patents!
by: zoobabzoobab
17 Jun 2009 22:53
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The next time that the European Parliament sits, its members will include Christian Engstrom, an entrepreneur turned activist who has been an anti-patent lobbyist for the past five years. If the Pirates receive a second seat, Engstrom will be joined by Amelia Andersdotter, whom Falkvinge describes as "one of the brightest minds we have in the Pirate Party." She will also be the youngest member ever elected to the European Parliament if she sits.
by: zoobabzoobab
17 Jun 2009 22:51
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The New Zealand government has proposed allowing unlimited software patenting. They are accepting comments until July 2nd, but participation from the people who will be harmed seems very low. The details of how to participate can be found on swpat.org: http://en.swpat.org/wiki/New_Zealand Participation of the free software community is particularly important because, although SME federations and consumer rights groups are sometimes the most influential lobbies against software patents, it's often the free software community that raises awareness of the issue and gets these other groups moving. The July 2nd deadline is very close, so work is needed now.
by: zoobabzoobab
17 Jun 2009 22:11
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Patent Trolls are an ever-growing threat to global innovation. These IP aggregators purchase low-quality patents and use them as leverage to hijack potential revenue and profits from hardware and software companies, our largest economic driver. This causes entrepreneurs to reconsider launching companies, while CEOs devote more of their time and resources to managing intellectual property. New online and offline tools and services are becoming available to combat Patent Trolls and enable technology companies to focus on their core business.
by: zoobabzoobab
15 Jun 2009 15:04
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OS News reports that Debian developer Josselin Mouette got Tomboy accepted as a dependency for gnome in the next release of Debian (codenamed Squeeze). While that may seem like nothing big (except for the 50 MByte size of the Tomboy package), Tomboy requires Mono — meaning that Mono will now be installed by default. Apparently, Debian doesn't have the same concerns over using specifications patented by Microsoft and licensed under undisclosed terms that Red Hat does. Perhaps Debian doesn't believe that Microsoft might do something like Rambus did.
by: zoobabzoobab
15 Jun 2009 14:21
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Now you have the option to acquire Xandros Desktop offerings together with Microsoft patent assurance. This assurance enables you to use Xandros Desktop software with confidence. This program is available for $50. Learn more by reading Microsoft's covenant. Would you like to purchase patent protection for your Xandros Desktop? Yes, please tell me more No, just continue with my Xandros Desktop purchase
by: zoobabzoobab
15 Jun 2009 10:54
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“Now you have the option to acquire Xandros Desktop offerings together with Microsoft patent assurance. This assurance enables you to use Xandros Desktop software with confidence. This program is available for $50. Learn more by reading Microsoft’s covenant.” “How much does the same thing cost for SLED?” This even links to Microsoft’s Web site. Nice, eh? What a pleasant experience purchasing GNU/Linux from Xandros. This also applies to Linspire, which Xandros bought. They sell Debian with a Microsoft licence for imaginary software patents.
by: zoobabzoobab
15 Jun 2009 10:51
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Wondering if the questions the EU Council of Ministers want to ask the ECJ about the unified patent litigation system have been made public
by: zoobabzoobab
12 Jun 2009 17:43
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The bottom line is that, after a plaintiff-patentee has had a reasonable opportunity to review the source code for the defendant’s accused software product, the patentee’s time for trolling the proverbial waters for a theory of infringement comes to an end, and the patentee must fish or cut bait with respect to its specific theory of infringement by providing PICs to the defendant that clearly identify and explain how the source code for the accused product infringes upon specific claims for the patent-in-suit. For DSC, trolling time is over.
by: zoobabzoobab
12 Jun 2009 10:38
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Today, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal concerning the standards used to determine whether a process is eligible for patent protection under 35 USC § 101. Bilski v. Doll, U.S., No. 08-964, 2009 WL 221232 (June 1, 2009) (granting certiorari). Last fall, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that a process is patent-eligible under § 101 if: "(1) it is tied to a particular machine or apparatus, or (2) it transforms a particular article into a different state or thing." In re Bilski, 545 F.3d at 943, 954 (2008). The Supreme Court's review of this case will play an important role in defining whether business methods and other computer-implemented processes may be patented. It is difficult to predict whether the Supreme Court's grant of certiorari in Bilski signals an intent to significantly narrow or expand the scope of patent eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101...
by: zoobabzoobab
10 Jun 2009 21:01
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The European Patent Office (EPO) does not grant patents for computer programs ("software patents") or computer-implemented business methods that make no such technical contribution. In this respect the granting practice of the EPO differs significantly from that of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). [IPKat comment: Although, after Bilski, it appears that the USPTO is now even more strict than the EPO]
by: zoobabzoobab
10 Jun 2009 20:59
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One of the fears that I and others have voiced is that the European Patent Litigation Agreement (EPLA) - an attempt to set up a unified European judicial system for patent litigation - might be an attempt to get software patents in through back door. Often, though, these concerns are dismissed by supporters of software patents as unwarranted.
by: zoobabzoobab
10 Jun 2009 20:58
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Bilski's importance has stemmed from its apparent clash with previous caselaw – particularly the example of State Street Bank v Signature Financial Group, Inc (1998), in which the Federal Circuit upheld the patentability of a financial model. Finding that Signature's means of moving funds achieved a ‘useful, concrete and tangible result', the Federal ruling drew on a central Supreme Court tenet that ‘anything under the sun made by man' was patentable. Unlike the European Patent Convention (EPC), the US does not automatically exclude business method patents. For the US IP industry, unease over Bilski has reached a critical stage, as holders of patents spawned by State Street grow concerned for their rights.
by: zoobabzoobab
10 Jun 2009 20:53
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It is important that the Bilski judgment be understood correctly, and not misinterpreted as meaning the end of software patents in the US. However, there is a lack of clarity as to which kinds of patent claim will satisfy the Bilski test, and it is therefore good news that the US Supreme Court has agreed, on 1 June 2009, to hear arguments in Bilski v Doll to review the Federal Circuit decision. The Supreme Court will deal with two questions: firstly, does the Federal Circuit's decision conflict with the Supreme Court's decision in Diamond v Diehr where the court held that the only non-patentable subject matter is “laws of nature, physical phenomena and abstract ideas”; and secondly, does the “machine-or-transformation” test conflict with the US Congress's intent that business methods are patentable?
by: zoobabzoobab
10 Jun 2009 20:47
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