software patents - Page number 2

Defensive patent publications establish the existence of prior art in any field

patent struggle

It bothers many of us everytime we hear about yet another non-obvious, overreaching, and abusive patent—particularly a software patent that is getting in the way of innovation and creativity. Additionally, there is an overwhelming sense of frustration when a regular citizen can't do much to change the current, sad state of affairs. » Read more

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Software patents: The talk of 2012

Open law year in review

Looking back over the law channel posts of 2012, I was not surprised to see that software patents were a major concern. The high volume of significant patent lawsuits of competitors and rising levels of NPE (aka patent trolls or patent assertion entities) suits has been the subject of both open source community and mainstream media interest.

There were new ideas on patent reform, and an increasing recognition by the public at large that software patents can hinder innovation. We also saw interesting developments in the areas of internet privacy and freedom and copyright law. I'll go out on a limb and make a prediction: » Read more

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Software patents make front page of New York Times

software patents

This morning the New York Times published a front-page story on software patents. My wife got to the paper before I did, and as I got coffee she told me the story would make me happy. She also said it was too long for a normal busy person to read in its entirety. It is long, but I am happy to see that the closest thing we have to a national newspaper of record is getting the word out about the dysfunction of the patent system. » Read more

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Closing the software patent loophole: Professor Lemley's new proposal

Wright Brothers first flight via NASA

There's an old saying that everyone complains about the weather, but no one does anything about it. The open source community maintains an active voice of indignation when it comes to the harms flowing from bad software patents. So it's worth noting when a leading patent law scholar proposes a potential solution to the software patent problem, as Mark Lemley recently did in a new paper entitled "Software Patents and the Return of Functional Claiming." » Read more

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Apple, Samsung, and the white queen's gambit

mobile mashup

Now the that the jury has given Apple almost everything it asked for in its infringement suit against Samsung, what should we expect to happen next? I think it's a given that Samsung will appeal. Given the damages awarded and the obvious determination of Apple to defend its patents, Samsung has little choice but to press forward wherever it can in court. » Read more

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Open Source for America asks U.S. government to "Free the Code"

Open Source for America logo

Open Source for America launched a petition Thursday to "Free the Code," an effort to encourage the U.S. federal government to release custom-developed, taxpayer-funded software as open source by default.

"Free the Code is an initiative to start a national conversation on taxpayer investments in software and information technology," said John Scott, co-chair of Open Source for America's steering committee. "Specifically, we’re interested in how publicly-funded software code developed by the government, which isn’t already covered by a proprietary license, should be made available to the wider public."

» Read more

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New EFF campaign proposes seven changes to U.S. patent system

New EFF campaign proposes seven changes to U.S. patent system

Last week, the Electronic Frontier Foundation launched Defend Innovation, a campaign to end software patent abuse, promote seven alterations to the United States patent system, and initiate dialogue about the ways software patents actually hinder the inventors they are designed to protect.

"The software patent system is broken," said EFF Staff Attorney Julie Samuels in a statement released last Tuesday. "Patents are supposed to help promote new inventions and ideas, but software patents are chronically misused to limit competition, quash new tools and products, and shake down companies big and small." » Read more

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Oracle v. Google shows the folly of U.S. software patent law

Oracle v. Google shows the folly of U.S. software patent law

Oracle v. Google has all the ingredients of an epic, high-stakes courtroom battle: a damages claim of up to $1 billion over the use of Java in the popular Android operating system, testimony by both Larrys (CEOs Page and Ellison) in the first week alone, and, of course, the disposition of some interesting legal issues, not the least of them whether APIs can be copyrighted.

But, more than all of that, the case serves as an important teaching moment, illustrating much of what doesn’t work in our patent system. » Read more

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Prometheus bound: An important precedent for the next software patent case

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court’s new opinion on patent eligibility is an important step in the right direction in addressing the problem of software patents. It shows that the Court is mindful of the risks that patents can hold for innovation, and will provide a useful precedent for the next big software patents case.  » Read more

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A cure for the common troll

A cure for the common troll

Our bridge into the 21st Century presently houses a nasty creature who demands a toll from the best and brightest in our community. The dreaded troll is a regular denizen of our current system of patent enforcement and he poses serious problems for technology companies. Despite the great expense of patent litigation, trolls are filing increasing numbers of patent suits aimed at technology companies, and particularly aimed at software and related areas of commerce. Their club of choice is the broad, complex, and vague patent claim. There are several means at our disposal, most of which are based on known mechanisms from other areas of the law, for dealing with these trolls, or more diplomatically, these "non-practicing entities." » Read more

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