Software Patent News for March 28th

Software Patent News for March 28th:

  • The Death of Business-Method Patents [IEEE Spectrum]
    “What we really need to know, but lack the tools to reliably assess, is whether software patents help or hinder innovation. If that question is obvious to ask but impossible to answer, then how are we to decide whether to admit a new candidate into the pantheon of patentable subject matter? Perhaps the best place to begin is where the world’s various patent systems tend to agree. One common feature is the focus on what’s made (as opposed to merely thought) by man. Other well-established boundaries include the universal unpatentability of laws of nature, physical phenomena, abstract or disembodied ideas, and pure math. Maybe we should exchange lofty expressions of legal principle for practical standards based on these recognized exclusions. Perhaps if patent claims call for hardware and operations that don’t reduce to “numbers in–crunch numbers–numbers out,” we should consider the subject-matter eligibility bar cleared.”
  • Open-source Firms Urged to Go on Legal Offensive [PC World: Yahoo! Tech]
    “More open-source companies should be asking the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office to re-examine patents that may pose a threat to them, as a cheaper, sometimes more suitable alternative to waging a patent lawsuit, said Van Lindberg, an attorney with Haynes and Boone LLP, who spoke at Infoworld’s Open Source Business Conference in San Francisco.”