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12.10.16

Good Luck to the US Supreme Court in Eliminating a Supremely Unjust Misuse of Patent Law

Posted in Courtroom, Patents at 3:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The history of personal attacks on Justices shows that such shameful resistance tactics are to be expected from the patent microcosm

Justice Breyer
Justice Breyer was pro-Alice or in favour of what’s now known as the Alice test that eliminates many software patents

Summary: In an important upcoming patent case, gross abuse of patent laws for the support of dubious business models can finally be tackled

As we noted here the other day, a big decision on patents is afoot. Great printer manufacturers heist (monopoly on toner/cartridges) can be stopped by the Supremes, but the implications go beyond just printing as global trade is at stake. The case of Lexmark affects every company that produces printers and also every company that tries to enforce its patents — so as to defend a notorious business model — abroad. A lot of articles have been written about this in recent days, e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], and in the words of the National Law Journal, “Justice Stephen Breyer seemed persuaded on Tuesday that supplying a single component of a product for overseas assembly isn’t enough to trigger extraterritorial application of U.S. patent laws.”

Breyer has already come under attacks from the patent microcosm for his views on other domains of patenting and we defended him. In this case too, Breyer seems capable of recognising that patents need to justify themselves at a broader sense than just someone’s business model. We hope that Lexmark will lose this case. When you purchase a printer or a cartridge, than both should basically be treated as your properly and anything you do with them oughtn’t be artificially limited by patent law. This relates to a recent controversy — one which the EFF too got involved in — where HP basically artificially limited people’s printers (remotely even) given updates that induced a sort of physical DRM (machines or software refusing to take orders from their operator/owner, in spite of having the capacity to do so).

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