Home Messages Index
[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
Author IndexDate IndexThread Index

[News] Software Patents Lose Their Potency (More Analysis)

Hash: SHA1

Bilski: what it means for free and open source software

,----[ Quote ]
| In its new opinion, the court declined to settle the issue of when, if ever, 
| software based inventions should be patentable. Even so, the new test in 
| Bilski will probably limit the patentability of software.  
| Future cases will shed further light on this issue. In the meantime, the 
| holder of a poor quality software patent is likely to think more carefully 
| about bringing a lawsuit, because the patent may be ruled invalid.  
| The FOSS community and its supporters need to explain to our friends, 
| neighbors, and legislators the practical realities of software patents. We 
| need to continue to challenge received wisdom about innovation in software, 
| and to explain that patents do not always foster innovation.   

COMMENTARY: Business-Method Patents—Down But Not Out?

,----[ Quote ]
| The case most often cited for opening the door to business-method patents is 
| State Street Bank & Trust v. Signature Financial Group Inc., decided in 1998 
| by the same court. That case, however, involved a fairly complex computer 
| program, and all the court really said was that the validity of the patent 
| should not turn on whether the “subject matter does ‘business’ instead of 
| something else.” Even the poster child of business-method patents, the 
| Amazon “one-click” patent, which was in the patent pipeline well before State 
| Street, involved software operating on a specially designed client-server 
| system.        



Software Method Claims: Bilski in light of Benson

,----[ Quote ]
| It is important to remember that the Supreme Court's decision in Gottschalk
| v. Benson is still controlling law. In that 1972 decision, the Supreme Court
| held unpatentable a method of converting a signal from "binary coded decimal"
| into "binary." The Benson method operates by using a "reentrant shift
| register" – a particular electronic memory circuit of the day. The rejected
| claim reads as follows:
| [...]
| Thus under Bilski/Benson, tying a software algorithm to particular computer
| hardware may well be unpatentable subject matter if the patent would still
| preclude all practical uses of the otherwise unpatentable algorithm.


Economist Critic of Software Patents gets Nobel Prize

,----[ Quote ]
| The FFII congratulates Eric S. Maskin, an economist who has long criticised
| the patenting of software, for receiving the 2007 Nobel Prize for Economics.
| Prof. Maskin and two colleagues receive the Prize for research into the
| optimal design of economic mechanisms. By applying his theory to the IT
| sector, Maskin demonstrated "that in such a dynamic industry, patent
| protection may reduce overall innovation and welfare."


Intellectual Property Regime Stifles Science and Innovation, Nobel Laureates

,----[ Quote ]
| Patent monopolies are believed to drive innovation but they actually impede
| the pace of science and innovation, Stiglitz said. The current “patent
| thicket,” in which anyone who writes a successful software programme is sued
| for alleged patent infringement, highlights the current IP system’s failure
| to encourage innovation, he said.
| Another problem is that the social returns from innovation do not accord with
| the private returns associated with the patent system, Stiglitz said. The
| marginal benefit from innovation is that an idea may become available sooner
| than it might have. But the person who secures the patent on it wins a
| long-term monopoly, creating a gap between private and social returns.

Version: GnuPG v1.4.9 (GNU/Linux)


[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
Author IndexDate IndexThread Index