Posts Tagged: "software patent"

When Will the Supreme Court Decide Bilski?

Months ago I predicted that the Supreme Court would issue the decision on the day that is least convenient for me. That is what always seems to be the case with big news items. They seem to happen when I am away from my computer and attending to other matters, traveling or teaching. Based on the belief that the decision will issue on either April 19, 20, 21, 26, 27 or 28, my prediction is April 21, 2010. That would be the most awful day for me because of my calendar of events on April 21 and 22. So if you are going to start up an office pool on when Bilski will issue I would beg, borrow and plead for April 21.

Software Patents and Murphy’s Law: Uncertainty is Where Patentability Resides

When embarking on a software development project it is critical to understand that in order to maximize the chance of obtaining a patent you need to approach the task with an engineering mind set, as well as a healthy familiarity with Murphy’s Law. Anything that can go wrong will go wrong, and once you release the process to end users a human element will complicate what should otherwise be a predictable, linear, machine driven response. Embrace the uncertainty and challenges because the fact that software rarely, if ever, works like it should is what makes a working process patentable.

Facebook Gets US Patent on Social Network News Feeds

Earlier this week, on February 23, 2010, Facebook was granted US Patent No. 7,669,123, which covers a patent on a method for dynamically providing a news feed about a user of a social network. While this may have been new to social networking sites in December 2005 through August 2006, automatically updating news feeds were hardly new even then.

Deciding Bilski on Patentable Subject Matter is Just Plain Wrong

Unfortunately, those who oppose software patents frequently, if not always, want to turn the patentability requirements as they apply to software and business methods into a single step inquiry. They want it all to ride on patentable subject matter, which is a horrible mistake. The majority of the Federal Circuit got it completely wrong in Bilski, and other notable recent decisions. Patentable subject matter is a threshold inquiry and should not be used to weed out an entire class of innovation simply because bad patents could and will issue if the other patentability requirements are not adequately applied. That is taking the “easy” way out and is simply wrong.

History of Software Patents III: In re Alappat

Several years after Arrhythmia, the Federal Circuit seemingly abandoned the Freeman-Walter-Abele test. Sitting en banc in Alappat the Federal Circuit did not apply the Freeman- Walter-Abele test, rather opting for the mathematical subject matter exception.

Google Sued for Patent Infringement Over Chrome Courgette

On Monday, October 26, 2009, Google, Inc. was sued for patent infringement relating to its new Chrome browser by Red Bend, Ltd., an Israeli corporation and Red Bend Software, a Delaware corporation located in Waltham, Massachusetts.  Red Bend, Ltd. is the owner of US Patent No. 6,546,552, and Red Bend Software is the exclusive licensee of the ‘552 patent (hereinafter…

New Amazon Software Patent, Shakespeare & © Infringement

Amazon Technologies, Inc., received US Patent No. 7,610,382, which relates to a computer implemented method of marking copies of content distributed on a network. More specifically, the patent discloses and claims a variety of embodiments of a method and associated apparatus for programmatically substituting synonyms into text content distributed through a Web service.

Microsoft Seeks Patent for Graphical Representation of Social Network Vitality

The Redmond Giant, Microsoft Corporation, had US Patent Application 20090265604 publish, which seeks to protect a method for displaying a graphical representation of the vitality of a social network. This patent application was filed on April 21, 2008, and is one of many related to social networking that Microsoft has pending presently.

Jobs and Apple Seek Patent on Operating System Advertising

Earlier today a pending non-provisional utility patent application assigned to Apple Computer published. This application, US Patent Application 20090265214, is titled Advertisement in Operating System, and covers exactly what the title implies; namely an operating system that is capable of displaying a variety of advertisements to users. You are likely to have heard of the first listed inventor, Steven Jobs, the CEO and co-founder of Apple Computer, Inc.

Why All Small Businesses Need Software Patents

The reason giant companies hate patent trolls is because they are not capable of being counter-sued. There is no deterrent effect because patent trolls do not make, use or sell anything, they just sue. So giant companies are targets in the same way that smaller companies without patents are targets of big companies with patents. No one should aspire to be a target. A simple truth is that a small business without patents might as well dress themselves up as a buck during hunting season complete with a bulls-eye pre-drawn. So here is the case for every business to get patents, particularly software patents. Ignore it if you like, but you do so at your own peril.

Why Wishes Should Be Patentable

Critics of software patents often argue that software should not be patentable because software is too “abstract” to be patented. The patent system was created to protect nuts-and-bolts machines like the steam engine and the cotton gin, not “intangible” creations like software, so the argument goes. In this article I will argue that not only should software be patentable, but…

How to Patent Software in a Post Bilski Era

While it is true that the Federal Circuit has largely made “software” unpatentable, they did not prevent the patenting of a computer that accomplishes a certain defined task. Given that a computer is for all intents and purposes completely useless without software, you can still protect software in an indirect manner by protecting the computer itself, and by protecting a computer implemented process.

Is Software Patentable?

My position is that software must be patentable, or 500 years of patent laws make no sense. The reason that software must be patentable is that software can be an inseparable part of both manufacturing processes and electronic devices. A patent for such items must crucially include the software components of the invention, or the patent would be incomplete.

US Supreme Court Grants Cert. in Bilski

The United States Supreme Court granted cert. in Bilski v. Doll. This means that the last chapter on business methods and software has not yet been written, which could be good news or bad news depending upon your particular take. I have wondered out loud about allowing software patents as patentable subject matter, which I think is the right thing to do myself.

History of Software Patents II: Arrhythmia Research

In the Arrhythmia case the invention in question was directed to the analysis of electrocardiographic signals in order to determine certain characteristics of heart function. In essence, the invention was a monitoring device. It had been discovered that 15% to 25% of heart attack victims are at high risk for ventricular tachycardia, which can be treated by the administration of drugs. Unfortunately, the drugs used have undesirable and dangerous side effects, which led the inventor to come up with a monitoring device capable of determining which heart attack victims were at the highest risk for ventricular tachycardia.

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