Bonum Certa Men Certa

Today We Have Bilski

David Kappos



Summary: SCOTUS is due to release its final judgment and more signs suggest that Justice Stevens is heavily involved (he is hostile towards software patents)

CHANGE is needed. The USPTO is out of control. To give a new example, here is the latest one from Slashdot:

USPTO Grants Bezos Patent On '60s-Era Chargebacks



theodp writes "Chargebacks on computing resources are certainly nothing new, dating to the '60s. But five decades later, the USPTO has deemed Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' invention — Dynamic Pricing of Web Services Utilization — worthy of a new patent. From the patent: 'Utilization of a storage resource may be measured in terms of a quantity of data stored (e.g., bytes, megabytes (MB), gigabytes (GB), etc.) per unit of time (e.g., second, day, month, etc.). Similarly, communication bandwidth utilization may be measured in terms of a quantity of data transmitted per unit of time (e.g., megabits per second). Processing resource utilization may be measured as an aggregate number of units of processing effort (e.g., central processing unit (CPU) cycles, transactions, etc.) utilized, or as a rate of processing effort utilization per unit of time (e.g., CPU cycles or transactions per second).' Sound familiar, Greyglers? Another example of why it's not wise to grant software patents when people don't know much about computer history."


It's time to cut back and annul software patents. Can Justice Stevens deliver? Based on SCOTUS blog:

This is just a reminder that Justice Stevens’ last day on the Court, after decades of service, will be Monday. Members of the bar who are in Washington should consider attending. I will be giving out free bow ties.


As Pogson correctly points out:

Tom Goldstein on SCOTUSBlog has written his best estimate of who will write the decision on Bilski:

* Justice Stevens will write it * the scope of patents will be narrowed, probably restricting software patents * the court will be unanimous but possibly split on the scope of the ruling…

He bases this on the history and involvement of Stevens on law of patents. He has a history of narrowing patent rights.


More from SCOTUS blog about Justice Stevens:

At oral argument in Bilski, Justice Stevens was very engaged. He asked counsel for the patentee the following telling question: “But is it correct that there’s none – none of our cases has ever approved a rule such as you advocate?” Justice Stevens also was seemingly doubtful that the involvement of a machine could render a process patentable, and furthermore that software could be patentable, which suggests a very narrow interpretation of business method patents and that the ruling could spell significant trouble for software patents.


Yes, software patents too are at risk. The decision will be out within hours and we'll be covering it.

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