08.11.08

Regrets Over USPTO’s Decision to Permit Software Patents

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Law, Patents at 7:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Implicit ‘decisions’ the road loophole to Hell

This new nugget of information is quotable and it will prove invaluable for future reference.

Digital Majority has found a variety of recent articles where regret is expressed by the very same man who can be held ‘responsible’ for opening a door to software patents. That man is a senior judge, S. Jay Plager. Here are some articles that explain this quite clearly: (with selectively highlights in red)

1. CAFC Judge Regrets Decisions That Resulted In Software Patents

As the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) is considering the Bilski case, where it may finally push back on software and business model patents, it’s interesting to hear one of CAFC’s judges admit that he was “troubled by the unintended consequences” of the lawsuits (State Street and AT&T) that resulted in software and business model patents being effectively allowed.

2. Patents as property II: Rethinking SW patents?

Patents as property was also front and center in the thoughts of one judge on the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the main appellate court for patent disputes in the US. Senior Judge S. Jay Plager, speaking at a symposium at George Mason University, called for a “rethinking” of several aspects of patent law by returning to its origins in property law.

According to the BNA, Plager “called for a renewed focus on setting recognizable patent ownership boundaries and on strengthening the notice function that patents are intended to serve. Such a reevaluation might require a reassessment of whether software and business methods are patentable subject matter, Plager said.

3. Rethinking patent law

Judge Plager writes that as a former law professor who taught property law for twenty-five years, he found our general thesis about analyzing patent law from a property law perspective “quite comfortable.” The book argues that many of the key institutional features and much of the economic performance (and many of the problems) of the patent system can be analyzed by treating patents as a property system. In his speech, Judge Plager suggested that this approach might require rethinking the patentability of software and business methods, doctrines of claim construction, patent scope and the doctrine of equivalents.

4. FFIP Recommends: Research on Innovation and TIIP

The block quote alone is amazing and extremely important due to the subject matter and the authority of US. Senior Judge S. Jay Plager. This is the type of thing that should be promoted by End Software Patents, rethinking subject matter for software patents and business methods is essential if we are to save the patent system.

5. Judge Plager: Regrets ‘Unintended Consequences’ of State Street

It might lead to limiting a patent’s scope to what was known at the time of the application filing, and to an abandonment the doctrine of equivalents as a basis for patent infringement liability.

This sounds promising, but both sides continue to fight. One typically fights for science and freedom, whereas the other fights to keep its cash machines Ka-chinging! Patents were made to promote science, not to make and protect billionaires. Sanity and freedom need be restored.

“I think that “innovation” is a four-letter word in the industry. It should never be used in polite company. It’s become a PR thing to sell new versions with.”

“It was Edison who said “1% inspiration, 99% perspiration”. That may have been true a hundred years ago. These days it’s “0.01% inspiration, 99.99% perspiration”, and the inspiration is the easy part. As a project manager, I have never had trouble finding people with crazy ideas. I have trouble finding people who can execute. IOW, “innovation” is way oversold. And it sure as hell shouldn’t be applied to products like MS Word or Open office.”

Linus Torvalds

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2008/08/11/uspto-swpats-regrets/

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

A Single Comment

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    August 11, 2008 at 9:54 am

    Gravatar

    European Commissioner for Competition Policy, Neelie Kroes, made the point indirectly. Her statement that filing of patents “makes it easier to innovate around the patent” indicates not just an acknowledgment that {software} patents harm innovation, but also that it is a problem inherent in the current patent system.

    However, it also indicates a blatant misunderstanding of the problem. Patents do not apply to expression like copyright does, but to activities. Thus it’s not possible to “innovate around” vague patents if it is the patented activity or method that is required.

    http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=SPEECH/08/317&source=boycottnovell.com

    The European Patent Office has been granting junk patents, which are not valid. The treaty, the 1974 European Patent Convention, specifically declares that software, algorithms, formulas and business methods are not patentable. So, the EPO, and many member states like Sweden for example, needs to get incompliance with EU law and “harmonize” with the treaty under which they are obligated to comply.

What Else is New


  1. Time to Move to Gemini, Wherever/Whenever Possible, as the World Wide Web is a Burden on Everybody

    A 30-minute rant about what the Web has become and the promise of gemini:// (designed to simplify everything, enable self-hosting, preserve privacy, and empower communities rather than military-connected monopolies)



  2. The Number of Signatures in the Anti-FSF Petition is Decreasing, Not Increasing

    A reader has notified Techrights that belatedly, perhaps where people’s job is at risk (we’ve heard of stories and situations wherein the employer’s view and a worker’s view diverge), the GNOME Foundation/OSI did in fact remove some people from the hate letter they had set up for their monopolistic sponsors. We do, however, still see some names in there of people who asked to be removed, so it must be a very selective process. They don’t want to lose face, so they must have made it very difficult to revoke one’s name. Exceptional circumstances? We have checked to confirm, based on the available archives, and indeed that number decreased since 10 days ago, whereas 6,415 people have thus far signed the support letter (it's still growing), so we’ve just re-plotted the chart.



  3. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, April 18, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, April 18, 2021



  4. How Many People Developed GNU (Maybe Hundreds) in the 1980s

    Dr. Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation's founder, explains how code was managed and contributed in the early days of GNU



  5. Links 19/4/2021: Linux 5.12 RC8, GNU Poke 1.2, EndeavourOS 2021.04

    Links for the day



  6. Proprietary Software (BT Hub) Has Ruined My Whole Day

    While we did have some plans to publish long articles, those plans were curtailed or at least delayed due to the fact our sole device at home not to be controlled by us (a so-called 'Smart' Hub from BT) decided to break itself and by doing so bring productivity to a standstill (that firmware update, silently installed without notice or any form of consent, managed to screw with the local network)



  7. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, April 17, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, April 17, 2021



  8. Tolerating the Intolerant and Lacking Tolerance for Opposing Views

    The person who shouted...



  9. Letter of Support for Richard Stallman - Doing Better in Community

    "How do you support someone you’ve known for years who is unfairly attacked and publicly maligned?"



  10. Richard Stallman on Rejecting Workplace Bureaucracy in the 1970s

    Dr. Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation's founder, explains what inspired him to get involved in non-software matters



  11. Renata Avila: Trying to Understand the Lynching of Stallman

    Reproduced from the original



  12. Breaking News: EDPS Admits That It is Powerless to Investigate Claims of GDPR Non-compliance at the EPO

    Nobody is truly in charge at the EDPS (and in Europe at large); they say EPO is "company" and all one can do is kindly ask the EPO itself to obey the law and stop outsourcing European data to American military contractors



  13. Links 17/4/2021: Linux 5.13 in Sight, Holland Warming up to Free Software

    Links for the day



  14. Richard Stallman Vilified by Those Who Don't Know Him, Says Sylvia Paull

    Republished "In Support of Richard Stallman"



  15. [Meme] Linux Foundation Can't Use Linux

    Two examples from yesterday, highlighting what a bunch of hypocrites run the marketing operation now disguised as ‘research’; Jason Perlow from Microsoft signed/published this newsletter highlight from the failing “Linux” Foundation — a foundation that calls itself “Linux” while its newsletter is still hosted by Microsoft Windows+proprietary IIS and this latest report is made with proprietary software on a Mac



  16. [Meme] Haters Gonna Hate, Don't Apologise to a Libelling Mob

    As was already pointed out before, you cannot appease a mob by talking back to it, certainly not by issuing an apology (putting oneself in a position of weakness)



  17. What the EPO Has 'Normalised' in Europe...

    Under the cover of 'new normal', Europe's second-largest institution crushes the law and crushes its own staff



  18. Lots of Information in Sight, But Minimal Distraction

    How I keep focused on reading and writing whilst at the same time keeping an eye on important incidents, such as DDOS attacks and urgent messages coming in



  19. IRC Proceedings: Friday, April 16, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, April 16, 2021



  20. Hate Letter Against FSF (Concern Trolls): 1415 Committers, Letter in Support of FSF (With Its Founder Back): 5116

    Taking into account people who asked for their names to be removed from the defamatory hate letter (inciting people, based on falsehoods), it's not impossible that the support letter really triples or quadruples it in terms of number of signatures



  21. Richard Stallman: Sharing is Good... We Need to Legalise It

    Dr. Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation's founder, explains his take on copyright and the artificial restriction being used against sharing



  22. Nadine Strossen and Hannah Wolfman-Jones Rebut Accusations Against Stallman and Choose Him as Coauthor

    "Here are her thoughts and the response she received from Nadine, extracted verbatim with their permission from the original article"



  23. Links 17/4/2021: GNOME 40 in Tumbleweed, Devuan 4.0 Alpha, Kate Editor Makes a Leap

    Links for the day



  24. EPO Staff Union Takes the EPO 'to Court' (the ILO's Tribunal, as the EPO Cannot be Taken to a Proper Court)

    The Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO) Committees are preparing a legal battle over unlawful and unjust measures taken collectively against hard-working (overworked during pandemic) members of staff; the European public should support them



  25. The Latest Anti-RMS Coup Attempt Targets the GNU Project (Because the FSF Coup Has Clearly Failed) by Infringing and Disregarding Trademark Conventions

    A fake "GNU" (not the original GNU, just riding the coattails of the name "GNU") is trying to find/gain traction and we must oppose it because it's an extension of the very same coup attempt (same plotters) that manufactured a whole bunch of libel to incite people and blackmail the Free Software Foundation (FSF)



  26. Links 16/4/2021: Mozilla Dumping FTP, Corporations Still Concern-Trolling FSF

    Links for the day



  27. The EFF Attacks Software Freedom and Promotes Fake Privacy Linked to Microsoft

    Only weeks after attacking Software Freedom (the ad hominem way, which is easier) the EFF endorses a Microsoft-linked privacy abuse, misframing it as some sort of privacy champion



  28. Richard Stallman on How Corporate Media Limits What People Are Allowed to Think and Say (Updated)

    What the founder of the FSF told yours truly a number of years ago about the behaviour of corporate (funded and controlled by corporations) media



  29. Exposing Hard Truths is the First Step or the Path Towards Justice

    A reflection and a moment taken to set aside tribalism (shallow differences based on allegiances of personal comfort), for we need look back at actual facts — however inconvenient at times — and consider the reality of the situation



  30. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, April 15, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, April 15, 2021


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts