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

10.03.17

US Supreme Court Defends Position on Alice, Maintaining/Cementing a Ban on Software Patents Like the Rest of the World

Posted in America, Asia, Europe, Patents at 4:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

China is probably one of the few countries where ‘pure’ software patents are accepted (for the sake of mass litigation)

China's trolls

Summary: Software patents are a dying breed as the lion’s share of nations will not recognise them (in courts) and the UPC — an intrusion vector for software patents in Europe — is also not happening

LAST night we found out that the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) won’t be touching any of the cases that can somehow impact Alice, notably the case which only days ago we correctly predicted it would pass on. Section 101 (USPTO), therefore, won’t be changed significantly any time soon. As Patently-O has just put it:

In its first action for the October 2017 term, the Supreme Court has (inter alia) denied Certiorari in three pending Patent Cases:

16-1288 SYNOPSYS, INC. V. MENTOR GRAPHICS CORPORATION
16-1442 ARUNACHALAM V. SAP AMERICA, INC.
16-1427 OLEKSY V. GENERAL ELECTRIC CO.

SCOTUS will not reverse its precedence on software patents any time soon. Software patents are still de facto dead in the US, but the patent microcosm won’t rest in peace.

How about the EPO? Well, currently it’s hard to enforce software patents in Europe because national courts simply say no, and rightly so!

Having said that, the EPO once again pushed the SME lie. It did it again yesterday. It’s an attempt to paint UPC as “good for SMEs” (which is a lie). Also yesterday we saw Penny Gilbert, Peter Damerell and Alex Driver trying to push the UPC with this long article. Someone should explain to Powell Gilbert LLP that the UPC is likely dead (they probably already know that) so that they don’t misinform clients or random readers. The UPC is like a hypothetical project; it’s not even happening and they already leap to it with advice, including the following section about software and business methods:

To what extent can inventions covering software be patented?

Computer programs as such are expressly excluded from patentability, but claims involving computer programs are not excluded if the claimed subject matter has a technical character.

To what extent can inventions covering business methods be patented?

Business methods as such are expressly excluded from patentability. However, like computer programs, business methods may be patentable if the claimed subject matter has a technical character.

As we said quite a few years back, the UPC would be a Trojan horse for software patents in Europe, bypassing national patent laws and enforcing rulings on such patents in pertinent nations in direct contradiction to their laws. We need to stop this.

The EPO appeal boards have long tackled the issue of software patents. I wrote a letter to them (about software patents) almost a decade ago. They’re all about quality control and enforcement of the EPC; in September we saw reports like “Synthon says EPO appeal board has revoked Copaxone API patent” — serving to remind us of the crucial role played by these appeal boards.

Let’s remind ourselves that much of the world now despises and opposes software patents. Laws have accordingly changed, most recently in Australia (we wrote a lot about that last month). In Africa, based on this new article, a company now adopts a terrible strategy by saying “it intends to sharpen its focus on Quiptel’s patented suite of software and technology products and offerings, and also will restructure its content division.”

“Going forward,” it said, “Quiptel’s technology and software patents will now drive the company’s primary business focus.”

Where would they use such patents? Almost no courts would honour such patents anymore. Maybe China? Japan’s courts have become too strict.

Speaking of software patents in Asia, IP Watch has just published this new interview with the Korean IP Commissioner Sung Yunmo. They asked him nothing about software patents which — as we understand it — are sort of banned there. IAM’s Jacob Schindler has this new series about “Patents in Asia” and in it there’s this part about South Korea. Schindler “has reached out to the most trusted patent firms across a range of Asian jurisdictions to prepare the Patents in Asia supplement that follows,” he wrote. “It should serve as a handy reference for chief IP officers over the year to come.”

From the text about South Korea:

To what extent can inventions covering software or computer-implemented inventions be patented?

For a software invention to be granted, certain requirements must be met:

– First, information processing by software should be realised concretely by using hardware (eg, claims should describe involvement of concrete hardware-type components that account for information processing and interaction between them).

– In addition, claims should not involve human activities (as opposed to software processing).

Further, software inventions can be claimed in the form of a method, apparatus, computer-readable medium (storing a computer program) or computer program (stored on a medium). By contrast, claims directed to software, a computer program per se (not stored on a medium) or a program product are not allowed.
To what extent can inventions covering business methods be patented?

Business method inventions are subject to the same requirements as software inventions.

It sounds like more or less the same loopholes which exist in India, New Zealand and Europe. It’s very clear that so-called ‘pure’ software patents are not permitted. That’s just the new reality in the US, too.

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. They Came, They Saw, He Died

    Microsoft is an inherently sociopathic company; today's story of AppGet is an important reminder that Microsoft has not changed and isn't changing (Maui is another week-old example of trademark-hijacking tactics by Microsoft)



  2. Microsoft-Connected CloudGuru Doesn't Care About GNU/Linux and Now It's Gradually Killing the BSD/Linux-Centric Jupiter Broadcasting (Bought by Linux Academy)

    Assuming Docker is being 'killed' by Microsoft (or at least hijacked to push Windows, Azure and so on) while the GitHub-hosted (Microsoft) CloudGuru, whose co-founder comes from Microsoft, ‘finishes the job’ with Linux Academy and its assets, it’s time to take stock of a pattern/trend that ruins the media too



  3. What Happened to Docker is a Cautionary Tale About the Not-So-New Microsoft

    It’s hardly shocking that Docker collapsed (mass-scale layoffs) after the company had gotten close to Microsoft and got rid of its very own founder (a Red Hat veteran) while the software is being killed off/co-opted by Microsoft (all over the news this week; we’ve omitted links by intention as it’s only puff pieces, no investigative journalism anywhere); we only ask one thing: is anyone paying attention and, if so, what are the lessons learned?



  4. If You Want to Support and Follow Us 'Properly', Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is Most Reliable and Robust to Censorship

    Our longstanding position on social control media (we reject it and don't participate in it) is only proven ever more justified now that the mere idea of fact-checking is seen as controversial if not illegal



  5. Links 29/5/2020: Genode OS 20.05 and FSF Video Conferencing Service

    Links for the day



  6. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, May 28, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, May 28, 2020



  7. Weaponised Media Promoting an Illegal Patent System (UPC), Exploiting Major Pandemic in the Process

    The whole 'unitary' scam/ploy (merely a Trojan horse for litigation and low-quality/invalid patents) is being promoted by Thierry Breton as EU Internal Market Commissioner (in spite of illegalities and constitutional issues), merely reinforcing the view that the EU is rather complicit in the abuses perpetrated by Team Battistelli; the media in the pockets of oligarchs and litigation firms (fronting for these oligarchs) plays along, as usual



  8. Links 28/5/2020: OpenSSH 8.3, New Mesa Release, Raspberry Pi 4 News, Fedora 32 Elections

    Links for the day



  9. The EPO Became a Very Radical Institution

    Projection tactics are doomed to say more about the people who utilise them than about anybody else; the EPO has become so autocratic and corrupt that corruption is seen as normal and workers who explain this corruption are framed as "irrational" or "crazy" or "radical"



  10. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, May 27, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, May 27, 2020



  11. Allegations That Microsoft Will Ruin Besieged Clinics and Hospitals to Retaliate Against Those Who Name the Culprit

    With a broader picture coming into view, as per the above index, we're starting to wrap up the series while issuing a call for more stories and eyewitness testimonies, exposing the nature of attacks on hospitals (those almost always target Microsoft and others' proprietary software, which is technically unfit for purpose)



  12. Microsoft Has Ideas...

    Based on the pattern of media coverage, composed by Microsoft MVPs and Microsoft-affiliated blogs/sites, confusing the public about the meaning of GNU/Linux is reminiscent of an "Extend" phase



  13. ZDNet Proves Our Point by Doing Not a Single Article About Linux (RC7), Only About Linus and Windows Clickbait Junk

    It seems abundantly clear that nobody wants to cover the actual news about Linux and instead it’s all about which PC Linus Torvalds is using (gossip/tabloid); ZDNet‘s latest two articles are an example of this…



  14. UPC Lies That Make One Laugh...

    IP Kat and Bristows (overlaps exist) are still pretending that the UPC is coming because reality doesn’t seem to matter anymore, only self-serving agenda



  15. Canonical Continues to Help Promote Windows Instead of GNU/Linux or Ubuntu

    Thrice in the past week alone Canonical used the official “Ubuntu Blog” to help Microsoft instead of GNU/Linux and it is part of a disturbing trend which lends credibility to jokes or rumours about a Microsoft takeover; it's not like many people use this thing, either (Canonical helps Microsoft shore up a dying/languishing EEE attempt)



  16. Links 27/5/2020: CoreOS Container Linux Reaches Its End-Of-Life, 2020 GNOME Foundation Elections Coming

    Links for the day



  17. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, May 26, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, May 26, 2020



  18. GNEW Seedlings vs. Free Software Deforestation

    “The idea of the GNEW Project really is about keeping the goals of the GNU Project alive — hopefully, they won’t destroy or co-opt too much of the GNU Project, that people like the Hyperbola devs can’t fix it with BSD.”



  19. Joi Ito Already Admitted on the Record That Bill Gates Had Paid MIT Through Jeffrey Epstein

    An important exhibit for the accurate historical record (because MIT has been trying to deny truth itself)



  20. It's Convenient to Call All Your Critics Nuts and/or Jealous

    Bill Gates antagonists are not motivated by hatred or jealousy but a sense of injustice; spoiled brats who break the law aren’t a source of envy any more than mass murderers are subject of admiration



  21. Real History of Microsoft and How It Became 'Successful'

    New video that contains a portion about the history of Microsoft -- the part paid-for 'journalists' (paid by Microsoft and Bill Gates) rarely or never speak about



  22. Hostility and Aggression Towards Staff That Does Not Use Windows After Windows Takes Entire Hospital Down

    Microsoft Windows, with NSA back doors, continues to take hospitals offline (with records copied by criminals if not stolen by effectively locking the originals out of reach for ransom money); but guess who’s being punished for it…



  23. They Came, They Saw, We Died...

    It cannot be overstated that we're under attack (or a "Jihad" against Linux as Bill Gates himself put it) and failing to act upon it will be costly as time may be running out and our groups are being 'bought off' by Microsoft in rapid succession, as per the plan/strategy



  24. The GitHub Takeover Was an Extension of Microsoft's War on GPL/Copyleft (Because Sharing Code to Anyone But Microsoft is 'Piracy')

    Licences that make it easier for Microsoft to 'steal' (or a lot harder for Free software to compete against proprietary software) are still being promoted by Microsoft; its GitHub tentacles (see GitHub's logo) further contribute to this agenda



  25. ZDNet is Totally a Microsoft Propaganda Machine

    The site ZDNet has become worse than useless; it lies, defames and launders the reputation of famous criminals (that's the business model these days)



  26. When Microsoft's Mask Falls (or When Times Are Rough)

    Microsoft loves Linux in the same sense that cats love mice (they might play with them until they get hungry)



  27. Careers in Free Software Aren't Careers in the Traditional Sense

    With historic unemployment rates and people 'stranded' inside their homes there's still demand and need for technology; these times of adaptation present an opportunity for Software Freedom



  28. Embrace, Extend, Extinguish 2020 Edition

    Embrace, Extend, Extinguish (E.E.E.) is alive and well, but the corrupt (paid by Microsoft) media isn't talking about it anymore; in fact, it actively cheers and encourages people/companies to enter the trap



  29. Links 26/5/2020: SHIFT13mi GNU/Linux Tablet, Linux Kodachi 7.0 and Some Qt Releases

    Links for the day



  30. EPO Propaganda on Steroids (or on EPO)

    What EPO management is saying and what is actually happening


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