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05.17.13

EFF, Newegg, and the Canadian Patent System All Take a Stance Against Software Patents

Posted in America, EFF, Patents at 3:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Newegg

Summary: Hostility towards the practice of patenting software is seen in a nonprofit organisation, a corporation, and a government branch responsible for patenting

Dr. Glyn Moody says that “at last [the] EFF contemplates software patents abolition,” citing EFF positions in the essay “What’s At Stake in CLS Bank—Do Software Patents Hold Up The Sky?”

“Remember that i4i is a Canadian company best known for its lawsuit against Microsoft.”The essay comes from Mr. Nazer, whose positions we wrote about in [1, 2]. Earlier on he was targeting just trolls, not software patents. In his latest essay he says: “It is important to realize that software patents and the software industry are not the same thing. As Judge Moore’s own scholarship shows, patent issuance is “a poor measure of innovation value.” And there are straightforward economic reasons why patents and software are a bad fit. Far from being an incentive, software patents tend to operate as a barrier to entry and a tax on innovation.”

In other news cited by Moody, Newegg beat what some call a “corporate troll”. One summary says that “Newegg’s policy of not backing down from patent trolls, even ones as large as Alcatel-Lucent, continues to result in victory. Earlier this year, Overstock and Newegg successfully defended themselves with a jury invalidating Alcatel-Lucent’s main patent used to force companies as large as Amazon to settle. ”

Lastly for this week, Moody points out that there are more pushbacks against software patents, this time in Canada. As a short summary puts it: “The Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) has recently published two notices for patent examiners relating to patent interpretation, and in particular computer-related/business method type patents saying: ‘for example, what appears on its face to be a claim for an “art” or a “process” may, on a proper construction, be a claim for a mathematical formula and therefore not patentable subject matter.’”

Here is the corresponding article. Remember that i4i is a Canadian company best known for its lawsuit against Microsoft. There are other notable examples of patent parasites in Canada and we covered them before.

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