Posts Tagged: "software patents"

Top 10 Software Patent Myths and How to Free Yourself from Them

The first software patent was granted in 1968. It’s now been three decades since the “Year of the Algorithm” in 1994, when cases such as In re Allapat, In re Lowry, and In re Beauregard initiated a wave of software patents. Well over half of U.S. patents granted annually are at least “software-related,” and even a cursory search of U.S. patents reveals software patents in fields ranging from encryption to speech recognition to network security. Why, then, do so many people continue to think that software cannot be patented at all? What explains the stark contrast between the long-standing legal reality and the beliefs of otherwise well-informed engineers, high-tech business people, and even some lawyers?

Driving Forward: Autonomous Vehicles, Artificial Intelligence and Intellectual Property in Brazil

Autonomous vehicles were designed with the purpose of minimizing accidents on urban roads and providing more safety and comfort, assisting or performing independently some tasks that are the driver’s responsibility. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has developed a classification of autonomous vehicles, creating six categories for autonomous driving. Level zero refers to conventional cars without any technology of this type, while at the other extreme, at level five, the driver becomes a passenger, needing only to activate the vehicle and indicate the destination. In such case, it is up to the vehicle control system to carry out in a fully autonomous way the driving of the vehicle throughout the route and to carry out any emergency decision-making. The intermediate levels of autonomous driving include systems already found on the market, such as parking assistance, emergency braking and lane change assistance, among others.

Newman Dissents from CAFC View that SAS Failed to Show Copyrightability of Nonliteral Elements of Software Programs

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) on Thursday issued a precedential decision holding that SAS Institute , Inc. failed to establish copyrightability of its asserted software program elements. Judge Newman dissented, arguing the ruling “contravenes the Copyright Act and departs from the long-established precedent and practice of copyrightability of computer programs” and that it represents a “far-reaching change.”

Software-Related U.S. Patent Grants in 2022 Remained Steady While Chinese Software Patents Rose 8%

As an update to my previous posts from 2017, 2019, 2020, March 2021, August 2021, and 2022, it has now been almost nine years since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2014 Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank decision. Yet the debate still rages over when a software (or computer-implemented) claim is patentable versus being simply an abstract idea “free to all men and reserved exclusively to none” (as eloquently phrased over 74 years ago by then-Supreme Court Justice Douglas in Funk Bros. Seed Co. v. Kalo Inoculant Co.). Further, it has been 12 years since famed venture capitalist Marc Andreessen wrote the influential and often-quoted op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal titled “Why Software Is Eating the World.” Today, the digital transformation where software is “eating the world” is undeniable. Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Metaverse, Web3, cloud, gene editing, autonomous driving, quantum computing, and “green tech” dominate the technology news headlines and technology trend forecasts – all heavily reliant on software-related innovation – [Forbes] [Gartner] [World Economic Forum], but we are still without concrete guidelines for software-related patenting.

Federal Circuit Hands Zillow a Win, Ruling IBM Map Display Patents Cover Abstract Ideas

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) today issued a precedential decision finding that two IBM patents directed to technology that allows users to select and view results on a map were directed to ineligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. IBM had sued Zillow, alleging that several of the services offered on Zillow’s website and mobile applications infringed the claims. But the district court granted Zillow’s motion for judgment on the pleadings, finding the claims were directed to abstract ideas and lacked any inventive concept. The opinion was authored by Judge Hughes. Judge Stoll dissented in part, explaining that claims 9 and 13 of IBM’s U.S. Patent No. 7,187,389 were plausibly patent eligible and should not have been found ineligible at the pleadings stage.