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[News] re Bilski Ruling Foils Microsoft's SCO Ambitions

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Microsoft Has A Problem: Software Patents Go Up In Smoke

,----[ Quote ]
| 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?

,----[ Quote ]
| 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.    



Court Limits Issuance of Patents on Methods of Doing Business

,----[ Quote ]
| In a closely watched case, a federal appeals court in Washington D.C., today
| made it much harder for companies and individuals to get patent protection on
| abstract processes developed for businesses, such as tax strategies and
| investment methods.


Federal Court Rules in Bilski Business-Method Patent Case

,----[ Quote ]
| The business strategy at issue in Bilski was developed by two individual
| inventors, Bernard Bilski and Rand Warsaw. But the case drew interest and
| court filings from dozens of large corporations. Some, like IBM Corp., argued
| for tightened standards that would sharply limit what IBM in-house patent
| counsel David Kappos described as “runaway issuance of nontechnological
| process patents.” Others, such as technology services and consulting giant
| Accenture, defended patents stemming from such areas as financial services
| and organizational behavior as central to innovation in a 21st century
| economy.


In re Bilski: Patentable Process Must Either (1) be Tied to a particular
machine or (2) Transform a Particular Article

,----[ Quote ]
| For software and business methods, the question will remain as to whether a
| general purpose computer is sufficiently particular to qualify as
| a "particular machine." "We leave to future cases the elaboration of the
| precise contours of machine implementation, as well as the answers to
| particular questions, such as whether or when recitation of a computer
| suffices to tie a process claim to a particular machine." As Professor Duffy
| noted in an earlier Patently-O article, the PTO Board of Patent Appeals
| (BPAI) has already answered this question: "A general purpose computer is not
| a particular machine, and thus innovative software processes are unpatentable
| if they are tied only to a general purpose computer." See Ex parte Langemyr
| (May 28, 2008) and Ex parte Wasynczuk (June 2, 2008). More commonly, the
| claim may tie the software to computer memory or a processor – is that
| sufficiently particular? I suspect this fact pattern will arise shortly.


Appeals court rejects business method patents

,----[ Quote ]
| A U.S. patent appeals court ruled on Thursday that business methods, such as
| Amazon.com Inc's one-click to buy goods on the Internet, cannot be patented.
| The case was closely watched by software makers, Internet companies,
| investment houses and other businesses.


Waiting for Bilski; but will business method patents ever be the same anyway?

,----[ Quote ]
| And talking of business method patents, it struck me last night that one
| consequence of the current turmoil in the financial markets is that we will
| see far fewer of them in the future, whatever happens with Bilski. After all,
| financial institutions have been among the major players in the business
| method patent field as they seek to protect innovative investing strategies,
| risk models and the like. However, there are not as many of these
| institutions as there were a few months ago, while those that are left are
| much less likely to be looking for new and exciting ways to make money.
| Instead, they will be going back to basics. If this is the case, patenting is
| going to be the last thing on their minds.


Stop European Software Patents (Again)

,----[ Quote ]
| It is now over three years since the European Parliament threw out a
| controversial bill that would have brought in software patents.
| It was a victory of sorts for those trying to preserve some sanity in the
| world of computing, but only a partial and temporary one. Those in favour of
| intellectual monopolies are hardly going to give up, and already have a
| number of irons in the fire that they will doubtless deploy in due course.
| In preparation for that day, people on the other side are beginning to
| mobilise their forces...


Under the Radar: Two Tales From the Secret Life of Patents

,----[ Quote ]
| During the impassioned debate over a proposed European directive on software
| patents, opponents of software patents mounted a graphic demonstration of the
| problem, entitled the Patented European Webshop. The website showed that
| despite official proscription of patents on "computer programs as such" in
| Europe, patents were nonetheless granted for common website functions. This
| propaganda coup elicited anxiety among small businesses and played an
| important in defeating the directive, which would have legitimized those
| patents.


FSF: Urgent: Send comments to USPTO opposing software patents

,----[ Quote ]
| Tell The United States Patent and Trademark Office that software and business
| method patents should not be part of the EU-US patent treaty.

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