Bonum Certa Men Certa

Software Patents Are Missing the Point, Serving Multinationals

Snowflakes



Summary: An interlude about what software patents are doing and why they need to be abolished or at least not spread any further

PATENT systems were created to encourage publication, but given that source code can be published or withheld for good, what is the point of software patents when it comes to publication? One site specifically explains how to get them in the US. "I promise myself not to use any Oracle Database, their patent aggression against Dalvik is insane and should be punished," writes the FFII's president, who helps find much of the news about patents, especially in Europe. There is always an attempt to extend US patent law to Europe, which would be good for US multinationals and atrocious for European businesses. We shall write about that separably. The Bilski case helped show that the system in the US is quite incapable of ridding itself from software patents and this analysis from a fortnight ago says that:



Internet and entertainment companies should rejoice. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit fit a square patent peg into a round cyberspace hole. In Ultramercial v. Hulu, the Federal Circuit reversed a decision of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California and held that a process for monetizing the transmission of data over the web using advertisements does not qualify for the abstract idea exception to patentability. Many legal scholars were concerned that the Supreme Court’s decision in Bilski v. Kappos – upholding the rejection of a business method patent to hedge energy markets because hedging was an abstract idea – would eviscerate business method patents and potentially leave services in cyberspace without patent protections. However, the Federal Circuit’s decision fits service innovations in cyberspace within the business method patent category.


The goal to strive for is elimination of software patents in the United States. Failing that, we must ensure that software patents do not spread to other continents and nations.

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