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[News] Microsoft Patent Leech Gets More Intellectual Monopolies

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Avistar Receives Five New U.S. Patents for Real-Time Communications

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| Avistar Communications Corporation (Nasdaq: AVSR), a leading provider of 
| unified visual communications solutions, today announced that it has been 
| granted five new U.S. patents this month, including its 92nd patent, U.S. 
| 7,441,001, covering services involving two or more real-time communications 
| services such as text instant message (IM), video IM and Voice over IP 
| (VoIP).     


More on re Bilski:

Federal Court Issues “Bilski” Decision

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| Of course, patent applications for many software systems will meet this test, 
| and we have only minimal guidance from Bilski on how the test should be 
| applied. However, SFLC believes that this decision takes us one step further 
| toward freeing the United States from “software patents”. The SFLC hopes and 
| expects that this case will lead to fewer patent grants that stand in the way 
| of advancing software freedom.     


Bilski And Software Patents – Good News for FOSS

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| Last week the Federal Circuit issued a major decision, In re Bilski, 
| concerning the subject matter limits of patent law. The case presented 
| questions relating to software patents, an issue of great significance to the 
| free and open source software community, and so Red Hat filed a brief in 
| Bilski to educate the appeals court about FOSS and its problems with the 
| software patents. In the new opinion, the court cited Red Hat’s brief, but 
| 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. The war is not over, but the odds of success for 
| FOSS just got better.         


The end of software patents?

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| The open source community will be resting a bit easier - "abstract" patents, 
| for business processes have been ruled out by the US authorities, at least 
| for now.  


Gardner: Patent Bar Should Use Its High Priced Skills to Overcome Bilski et al.

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| Gardner explains that the Patent Bar should stand-up and explain to the PTO 
| and courts that "the application of novel and nonobvious software to 
| otherwise computer hardware is neither 'routine' nor 'typical.'"  



Microsoft Has A Problem: Software Patents Go Up In Smoke

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| So, companies like Microsoft would have a lot to rue about as a huge portion
| of their patent portfolio has become circumspect. This not only would rob
| them of revenues in terms of royalties but would also open up a lot of space
| for competition as well. Special thanks to Red Hat to take up the fight and
| providing crucial data to the court to take this decision. Stallman and FSF
| would be very happy today :)


Is There Still A Big Loophole For Software And Business Method Patents?

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| It's not a full rejection of software or business model patents, but I think
| that's for the best in the long run. It's better to create proper overall
| rules, rather than trying to carve out exemptions and creating a patchwork of
| rules. However, I'm still worried about the loopholes, and how quickly
| lawyers with tons of patents seem ready to leap through those loopholes.

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