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07.24.14

USPTO Officially Sets New Guidelines to Limit Scope of Software Patents in the United States

Posted in Patents at 2:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Going back to physical, backing away from “abstract”

Bulb

Summary: Even patent lawyers finally acknowledge that the incentive to file software patent applications has been reduced, as the scope of patents on software has been noticeably narrowed and they are harder to acquire, let alone enforce in a courtroom

DESPITE the CAFC‘s push for expanded scope of software patents, the SCOTUS ruled in favour of new limits, whereupon the USPTO began rejecting software patent applications, among other things like rejection of software patents in the courts. This was wonderful news!

An article by Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP’s Intellectual Property Practice Group (i.e. patent lawyers) said that the USPTO had “Preliminary Examination Guidelines” for software patents after the SCOTUS ruling. To quote:

Following closely on the heels of the Court’s decision, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued guidelines for the examination of patent applications claiming abstract ideas. The guidelines are preliminary and the USPTO indicates that it will issue additional guidance after further consideration of the Court’s decision and public feedback.

This article was also published here.

Holland & Knight LLP (patent lawyers publishing behind paywall) wrote that the US “PTO Provides Examiners with Guidance on Software Patents in Light of U.S. SC Ruling” and Glaser Weil IP File said: “Though recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings have not provided much help, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s efforts to more closely scrutinize software patents is reducing the incentive for patent applicants to seek vague, broad claims, experts told USPTO officials at a forum Tuesday.”

There are also new articles about it, written not by patent lawyers.

The signifiance of the above articles is that even patent lawyers finally acknowledge that software patents are facing news limits. Weeks ago they worked hard to deny it (we gave dozens of examples), hoping that the SCOTUS ruling would go away or go unnoticed.

Steph writes about the patent lawyers’ propaganda rag, IAM ‘magazine’, calling them “silly”. She says: “A while back you published this article about a study that came out, touting the damage that patent trolls do to start ups. OK, not necessarily start ups, but “entrepreneurial activity”. And not necessarily “patent trolls”, but NPEs/PAEs/Euphamisms-of-the-Month.”

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