12.09.15

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Software Patents and EPO Coverage

Posted in America, Europe, Patents at 9:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Software development environments neither need nor want patents

Software development

Summary: An interlude regarding the subject of software patents in Europe and the United States

THE main subject of this site has always been software patents (we are not anti-patents in general). It’s why the site came into existence in the first place. There is a war going on in the software domain and it is fought between protectionists and programmers. Alice denialists typically fall under the former group and Free/Open Source software developers are just a subset of the latter (it includes proprietary software programmers too).

Alice denialists, who are mostly patent lawyers, only ever choose to comment (cherry-picking) about Alice when it’s some Microsoft-connected patent aggressor like Finjan managing to convince a court to uphold a software patent, as we recently noted. This new article by Monte Cooper and Cam Phan from Orrick says: “This goes to show that despite the significant shift that has occurred since the Alice decision, all hope is not lost for plaintiffs asserting patents in the software space.”

“There is a war going on in the software domain and it is fought between protectionists and programmers.”Well, Alice denialists wouldn’t want to admit that SCOTUS and the USPTO don’t quite tolerate software patents like they used to. Even the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC), which is said to have brought software patents to this world, is finding itself rejecting a lot of software patents these days, on grounds of abstractness.

Despite the EPO‘s troubling leanings towards software patents in Europe (because it helps management improve so-called EPO ‘productivity’ figures, measured in misguided terms or yardsticks like number of patents granted), it’s still not easy to get patents on software in Europe, either.

The mainstream media is increasingly covering various EPO scandals these days (there are many scandals, not one). It happens on a daily basis right now. See Stefan Krempl’s new article in German (if SUEPO doesn’t produce a translation, maybe one of our readers wants to).

The European Commission and second-biggest EU establishment — the EPO — apparently have something in common. The EPO is clearly dysfunctional right now and “at the EPO,” according to this new article, “oppositions can take 12 years” (if not longer).

There are many aspects to the EPO situation and our Wiki page breaks these down into various loose categories. Some readers have asked us for an overview of everything. This, in preparation for the protest on Thursday, is something we intend to do next.

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