10.03.17

Gemini version available ♊︎

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 in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 17/1/2022: More Microsoft-Connected FUD Against Linux as Its Share Continues to Fall

    Links for the day



  2. The GUI Challenge

    The latest article from Andy concerns the Command Line Challenge



  3. Links 17/1/2022: digiKam 7.5.0 and GhostBSD 22.01.12 Released

    Links for the day



  4. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 16, 2022

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 16, 2022



  5. Links 17/1/2022: postmarketOS 21.12 Service Pack 1 and Mumble 1.4 Released

    Links for the day



  6. [Meme] Gemini Space (or Geminispace): From 441 Working Capsules to 1,600 Working Capsules in Just 12 Months

    Gemini space now boasts 1,600 working capsules, a massive growth compared to last January, as we noted the other day (1,600 is now official)



  7. [Meme] European Patent Office Space

    The EPO maintains a culture of illegal surveillance, inherited from Benoît Battistelli and taken to a whole new level by António Campinos



  8. Gemini Rings (Like Webrings) and Shared Spaces in Geminspace

    Much like the Web of 20+ years ago, Gemini lets online communities — real communities (not abused tenants, groomed to be ‘monetised’ like in Facebook or Flickr) — form networks, guilds, and rings



  9. Links 16/1/2022: Latte Dock 0.11 and librest 0.9.0

    Links for the day



  10. The Corporate Cabal (and Spy Agencies-Enabled Monopolies) Engages in Raiding of the Free Software Community and Hacker Culture

    In an overt attack on the people who actually did all the work — the geeks who built excellent software to be gradually privatised through the Linux Foundation (a sort of price-fixing and openwashing cartel for shared interests of proprietary software firms) — is receiving more widespread condemnation; even the OSI has been bribed to become a part-time Microsoft outsourcer as organisations are easier to corrupt than communities



  11. EPO's Web Site Constantly Spammed by Lies About Privacy While EPO Breaks the Law and Outsources Data to the United States

    The António Campinos-led EPO works for imperialism, it not only protects the rich; sadly, António’s father isn’t alive anymore and surely he would blast his son for doing what he does to progress his career while lying to staff and European citizens



  12. Links 16/1/2022: Tsunami and Patents

    Links for the day



  13. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 15, 2022

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 15, 2022



  14. Links 16/1/2022: Year of the GNU/Linux Desktop and Catch-up With Patent Misinformation

    Links for the day



  15. Patrick Breyer, Unlike Most German Politicians, Highlights the Fact That Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent Are Incompatible With EU Law

    A longtime critic of EPO abuses (under both Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos leadership), as well as a vocal critic of software patents, steps in to point out the very obvious



  16. Links 15/1/2022: Flameshot 11.0 and Libvirt 8.0

    Links for the day



  17. Blogging and Microblogging in Geminispace With Gemini Protocol

    Writing one’s thoughts and other things in Geminispace — even without setting up a Gemini server — is totally possible; gateways and services do exist for this purpose



  18. Links 15/1/2022: Raspberry Pi in Business

    Links for the day



  19. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 14, 2022

    IRC logs for Friday, January 14, 2022



  20. Gemini Clients: Comparing Moonlander, Telescope, Amfora, Kristall, and Lagrange (Newer and Older)

    There are many independent implementations of clients (similar to Web browsers) that deal with Gemini protocol and today we compare them visually, using Techrights as a test case/capsule



  21. 2022 Starts With Censorship of Christmas and Other Greetings at the EPO

    The nihilists who run the EPO want a monopoly on holiday greetings; to make matters worse, they’re censoring staff representatives in their intranet whilst inconsistently applying said policies



  22. Links 14/1/2022: FFmpeg 5.0 and Wine 7.0 RC6

    Links for the day



  23. White House Asking Proprietary Software Companies That Add NSA Back Doors About Their Views on 'Open Source' Security

    The US government wants us to think that in order to tackle security issues we need to reach out to the collective 'wisdom' of the very culprits who created the security mess in the first place (even by intention, for imperialistic objectives)



  24. Links 14/1/2022: EasyOS 3.2.1 and Qt 6.3 Alpha

    Links for the day



  25. Scientific Excellence and the Debian Social Contract

    The Debian Project turns 30 next year; in spite of it being so ubiquitous (most of the important distros of GNU/Linux are based on Debian) it is suffering growing pains and some of that boils down to corporate cash and toxic, deeply divisive politics



  26. Links 14/1/2022: openSUSE Leap 15.2 EoL, VFX Designers Are Using GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  27. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 13, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 13, 2022



  28. 2022 Commences With Microsoft-Themed (and Microsoft-Connected) FUD Against GNU/Linux

    A psychopathic Microsoft, aided by operatives inside the mainstream and so-called 'tech' media, keeps spreading old and invalid stigma about "Linux" and Free software; few people still bother responding to these fact-free FUD campaigns, which boil down to ‘perception management’ PR/propaganda



  29. Between January 2021 and January 2022 the Number of Active Gemini Capsules Nearly Quadrupled Based on Publicly-Available Catalogue of Capsules

    Geminispace has grown to about 2,000 known capsules and 1,600 of them are active, permanently online, fully accessible; in January last year these numbers were about 4 times smaller



  30. Links 13/1/2022: NetworkManager 1.34 and Everett 3.0.0

    Links for the day


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