software patents

Law professors weigh in against abusive patent litigation by PAEs

8 bit patents

With patent reform legislation moving forward, an impressive group of law professors weighed in last week in favor of reform. The group submitted a letter to Congress that effectively demonstrates the seriousness of the problem of patent assertion entities (PAEs) and supports pending legislation.

This issue is timely, because the Innovation Act (HR 3309) was approved by the House Judiciary Committee on November 20 with a strong majority (33-5) in favor. There is a good chance that the full House will take up the bill this week. » Read more

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The Federal Trade Commission sets its sights on Patent Aggression Entities

patent reform

Just before the shutdown of the Federal Government last month, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) took a first and important step to examine critical questions surrounding Patent Aggression Entities (PAEs): » Read more

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Expanding the 'Covered Business Method' program: Sensible patent reform ... and why opponents have it wrong

hazy shade of value

Before the summer Congressional recess, a broad coalition of job-creating businesses added their voices to the pro-reform chorus with a ringing letter to Congress urging that expansion of the Covered Business Method (CBM) program be a cornerstone of any patent reform legislation being considered. 

The CBM program provides an innovative, carefully tailored means to address a particularly heinous abuse: manipulating the patent litigation system through aggressive use of unclear and overly broad business method patents by patent aggression entities (PAEs). It is currently limited to business method patents involving financial service products.

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The role of software patents in the patent reform debate

Software patent reform

Momentum seems to be building in Congress to tackle patent reform. From an open source perspective, any reform that reduces the risk and expense of patent lawsuits is surely a good thing. But the reforms under current discussion so far have largely been focused on the problem of NPEs (non-practicing entities) and have not directly addressed the problem of software patents. Are the two issues best viewed as one? So argues Boston University Professor James Bessen in his recent piece, The patent troll crisis is really a software patent crisis.

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New report: What the Government Accountability Office has to say about Non-Practicing Entities

patent reform

During the August Congressional recess, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its long-awaited study on Non-Practicing Entities (NPEs), required under the America Invents Act (AIA).

The report paints a rather grim picture of the current patent system. It reinforces the call by key leaders in Congress for legislative reforms that address abusive patent litigation as well as action by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the courts, and the US PTO.

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Weekly wrap-up: New Zealand bans software patents, open source is for lovers, and more

open source news and highlights

Open source news this week: August 25 - 29, 2013


What other open source-related news stories did you read about this week? Share them with us in the comments section. Follow us on Twitter where we share these stories in real time.

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The FTC roadmap on patent litigation aggressors

patent litigation aggressors

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) appears to be ramping up for an investigation of Patent Assertion Entity (PAE) practices.

In a noteworthy, welcome development, FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez recently gave a significant policy speech outlining a roadmap for possible FTC action. Chairwoman Ramirez’s remarks are some of the most direct and specific to date from a senior US Government official regarding "harmful PAE activities," and follow on in more detail the concerns laid out by President Obama last February.

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German Parliament tells government to strictly limit patents on software

patent reform

On Friday June 7, the German Parliament decided upon a joint motion to limit software patents (see English translation by BIKT). The Parliament urges the German Government to take steps to limit the granting of patents on computer programs. Software should exclusively be covered by copyright, and the rights of the copyright holders should not be devalued by third parties' software patents. The only exception where patents should be allowed are computer programs which replace a mechanical or electromagnetic component. In addition the Parliament made clear that governmental actions related to patents must never interfere with the legality of distributing Free Software.

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Judges split on software patents and computer transubstantiation

Software patents: a note on the new CLS Bank case

The law of software patents took an interesting, and ultimately encouraging, turn a little more than a week ago. In the CLS Bank case, ten judges of the Federal Circuit issued five separate opinions, without any single legal theory gaining a majority. Their debate showed that the scope of the subject matter requirement for patenting software is far from settled. It also makes it more likely that the Supreme Court will speak to the issue, and get it right.

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Key House committee looks at abusive patent litigation

patent reform

In the latest evidence of the growing recognition that our patent system needs reform, last week the House Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet held an informative and well-attended hearing on "Abusive Patent Litigation".

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte set the tone for the hearing: » Read more

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