EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

04.05.14

SCOTUS Works For Plutocrats, But It May, For a Change, Axe Software Patents

Posted in Patents at 8:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

New gavel

Summary: Update on the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) case which can effectively end software patents where they originally came from

THE SCOTUS, like the USPTO, practically exists to serve corporations while claiming to serve people’s interests. We showed many examples of this over the years, especially when we closely covered patent matters.

SCOTUS has just proven, yet again, that it serves the interests of the top fraction of the top 1% of income earners — people who provide the majority of funding to political candidates [1,2]. Sen. Bernie Sanders says that SCOTUS undermines democracy by allowing billionaires to “buy elections”.

SOCTUS us losing the trust of US citizens. There is no question about it. Meanwhile, however, “Software Patents On [are] The Ropes In SCOTUS,” Robert Pogson claims, citing some recent filings/proceedings. Where is Groklaw when you need it? Having witnessed the Bilski case some years ago (famous case at SCOTUS), we are highly sceptical of the possibility that anything significant will happen. SCOTUS is typically doing what the corporations are asking for. As TechDirt put it the other day: “Four years ago, the Supreme Court had a chance to establish once and for all whether or not software was patentable. The Bilski case got all sorts of attention as various parties lined up to explain why software patents were either evil, innovation-killing monsters or the sole cause of innovation since the cotton gin and everything in between (only slight exaggeration). Rather than actually answer the question everyone was asking, the Supreme Court decided to rule especially narrowly, rejecting the specific patents at stake in the case and saying that the current test used to determine patentability (the so-called “machine-or-transformation” test) need not be the only test for patentability. However, it declined to say what tests should be used, leaving it up to the lower courts to start ruling blindly, making up new tests as they went along. And muddle along blindly they did — right up to the height of pure absurdism in the CAFC (appeals court that handles patents) ruling in the Alice v. CLS Bank case, in which every single judge disagreed with each other. The ruling was 135 pages of confused mess where all justices only agreed on a single paragraph, which (like Bilski) said this particular patent was invalid, but no one could agree why.”

Let’s wait and see if the SCOTUS can surprise all of us by effectively putting at peril all software patents (in one fell swoop). This is the most important thing for Free software. The Register has this new article about “More software patent silliness,” noting that in China there are software patent applications, e.g. one relating to Wine on ARM (we covered that a few days ago.

“The filing has irritated Wine contributor André Hentschel,” the author says, “who points to his code commits from 2010, and remarks that “from my point of view there are no facts in that potential patent that should be patented”.

“Whether that’s sufficient to block the Chinese patent application CN102364433 is another question.”

We need to stop software patents in the US before they spread further. The tendency is for US law to get exported to almost every continent.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Supreme Court ruling on campaign contributions: More clout for the rich

    The wealthiest 1% of Americans will likely play an even larger role in elections following the Supreme Court decision Wednesday that freed rich donors to give as much as $3.5 million per election to the array of candidates running for Congress.

    The 5-4 decision struck down a Watergate-era limit that barred a single donor from giving more than $123,200 to congressional candidates every two years.

  2. Supreme Court strikes down aggregate campaign giving limits
Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

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

What Else is New


  1. How Patent Lawyers Analyze Alice v. CLS Bank

    Breaking down a patent lawyer's analysis of a Supreme Court's decision that seemingly invalidated hundreds of thousands of software patents



  2. Is It Google's Turn to Head the USPTO Corporation?

    The industry-led USPTO continues to be coordinated by some of its biggest clients, despite issues associated with conflicting interests



  3. The EPO's Public Relations Disaster Amid Distrust From Within (and EPO Communications Chief Leaves): Part VII

    Amid unrest and suspicion of misconduct in the EPO's management (ongoing for months if not years), Transparency International steps in, but the EPO's management completely ignores Transparency International, refusing to collaborate; the PR chief of the EPO is apparently being pushed out in the mean time



  4. Links 18/10/2014: Debian Plans for Init Systems, Tails 1.2

    Links for the day



  5. Links 18/10/2014: New ELive, Android Expansion

    Links for the day



  6. Another Fresh Blow to Software Patents (and With Them Patent Trolls)

    Another new development shows that more burden of proof is to be put on the litigant, thus discouraging the most infamous serial patent aggressors and reducing the incentive to settle with a payment out of court



  7. Links 16/10/2014: New Android, SSL 3.0 Flaw

    Links for the day



  8. How the Corporate Press Deceives and Sells Microsoft Agenda

    Various new examples of media propaganda that distorts or makes up the facts (bias/lies by omission/selection) and where this is all coming from



  9. Vista 10 is Still Vapourware, But We Already Know It Will Increase Surveillance on Its Users and Contain Malicious Back Doors

    The villainous company which makes insecure-by-design operating systems will continue to do so, but in the mean time the corporate press covers only bugs in FOSS, not back doors in proprietary software



  10. Links 15/10/2014: KDE Plasma 5.1 is Out, GOG Reaches 100-Title Mark

    Links for the day



  11. With .NET Foundation Affiliation Xamarin is Another Step Closer to Being Absorbed by Microsoft

    Xamarin is not even trying to pretend that separation exists between Microsoft and its work; yet another collaboration is announced



  12. The EPO's Protection Triangle of Battistelli, Kongstad, and Topić: Part VI

    Jesper Kongstad, Benoît Battistelli, and Zeljko Topić are uncomfortably close personally and professionally, so suspicions arise that nepotism and protectionism play a negative role that negatively affects the European public



  13. Corporate Media Confirms the Demise of Software Patents in the United States; Will India and Europe Follow?

    It has become increasingly official that software patents are being weakened in the United States' USPTO as well as the courts; will software leaders such as India and Europe stop trying to imitate the old USPTO?



  14. Links 14/10/2014: CAINE 6, New RHEL, Dronecode

    Links for the day



  15. Microsoft's Disdain for Women Steals the Show at a Women's Event

    Steve Ballmer's successor, Satya Nadella, is still too tactless to lie to the audience, having been given --through subversive means -- a platform at a conference that should have shunned Microsoft, a famously misogynistic company



  16. SCOTUS May Soon Put an End to the 'Copyrights on APIs' Question While Proprietary Giants Continue to Harass Android/Linux in Every Way Conceivable

    Google takes its fight over API freedom to the Supreme Court in the Unites States and it also takes that longstanding patent harassment from the Microsoft- and Apple-backed troll (Rockstar) out of East Texas



  17. Patent Lawsuits Almost Halved After SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Software Patents

    The barrier for acceptance of software patent applications is raised in the United States and patent lawsuits, many of which involve software these days, are down very sharply, based on new figures from Lex Machina



  18. Links 13/10/2014: ChromeOS and EXT, Debian Resists Systemd Domination

    Links for the day



  19. Links 12/10/2014: Blackphone Tablet, Sony's Firefox OS Port

    Links for the day



  20. Links 9/10/2014: Free Software in Germany, Lenovo Tablets With Android

    Links for the day



  21. Links 8/10/2014: A Lot of Linux+AMD News, New ROSA Desktop Is Out

    Links for the day



  22. Lawyers' Propaganda About Software Patents and a New AstroTurf Entity Called Innovation Alliance

    Patent propaganda and deception from patent lawyers (among other parasites such as patent trolls) continues to flood the Web, intersecting with reports that prove them totally wrong



  23. How Microsoft Handles Disasters: Grace Hopper Conference Has Been Infiltrated by "Microsoft Disaster Response"

    Free/Open Source software (FOSS) must be a disaster to Microsoft's bottom line because Microsoft is sending "Microsoft Disaster Response" to infiltrate and disrupt a conference about women in FOSS



  24. Links 8/10/2014: Gummersbach Moves to GNU/Linux, Docker Acquires Koality, KDE Frameworks 5.3

    Links for the day



  25. Links 7/10/2014: CAINE 6.0, PC-BSD 10.0.3

    Links for the day



  26. Benoît Battistelli's Balkan Standards in EPO: Part V

    How the European Patent Office facilitated the inclusion of previously-connected elements that are best known for misconduct and dirty politics



  27. Symptoms of Post-x86 Era: Even Intel Apologists Turn Against Bribes-Dependent Intel While Microsoft Continues to Deceive Journalists on Patents in Order to Create a Scare

    The Wintel press, which is bribed by companies that it covers, is challenged by prominent developers and Microsoft continues to plant its patent propaganda in the Wintel-centric (and paid) press



  28. Microsoft Reinforces Its Criminal Organisation Status by Bribing and Corrupting More Officials, Even in Europe

    More criminal activity from Microsoft in Romania and a new TV programme that sheds light on Microsoft's dirty assault on Free software in France



  29. Links 6/10/2014: Linux 3.17, OpenELEC 4.2.1, FreeBSD 10.1 RC1, Debian 8.0 Beta 2 Released

    Links for the day



  30. Links 4/10/2014: WebOS is Back

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts