Posts Tagged: "software patents"

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…

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.

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.

Responding to Critics: My View on Patents & Innovation

I seem to have started a firestorm by writing a post openly questioning how a patent attorney (i.e., Stephan Kinsella) could be of the opinion that it is preferable to have weak patent rights.  I openly questioned how and why any individual or corporation would hire a patent attorney who does not believe in the patent system and seems to…

How Computer-Automated Inventing is Revolutionizing Law

If you are pro-software patent you need to read this book because it will likely give you some wonderful insights that you can use to help you convince non-believers, and maybe even persuade a patent examiner or two. If you are anti-software patent I would also recommend you read this book as well. Plotkin’s positions are somewhat radical in that not only does he think software should be patented, but he wishes should be patentable as well, and that is exactly what will happen as computer automated inventing becomes increasingly more realistic.

Examiner Interview Changes Favor In Person Meeting

Last week I was at the Patent Office interviewing a case along with Mark Malek, who was in town from Florida to talk firm business, look for office space and interview some patent agents regarding coming to work with us.  The interviews lined up for this trip were all “Bilski-related,” in that the CAFC decision in In re Bilski was…

Software is the New Engine and Must be Patentable

Without software a computer is nothing more than a box of miscellaneous pieces that can’t do much of anything. They do make nice sticky-note holders, and they collect dust extremely well, but a computer without software is about as useless as a door without a knob, a clock without hands or a car without an engine. In other words, a computer without software is completely and totally useless. It is the software that directs a computer to do unique and often wonderful things, and it is the software that provides the innovative spark, not the machine. We do nothing but an injustice to ourselves to ignore this reality.

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.

Bilski Not So Bad for Software Patents After All

Ever since this decision was rendered there has been rampant speculation as to what Bilski means and how it will be interpreted. As one who works in this area and one with my own patent application pending in class 705, I was greatly interested both professionally and personally. Thankfully, I can report that it does not seem as if Bilski is turning out to be the impediment to patentability that many feared. In fact, based on what is going on at the USPTO one could make a convincing argument that it is actually getting easier to obtain patents that related to software and computer related processes.

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.

The History of Software Patents

Since the United States Supreme Court first addressed the patentability of computer software in Gottschalk v. Benson the law surrounding the patentability of software has changed considerably, leaving many to wonder whether software is patentable at all. Originally in Benson, the Supreme Court decided that software was not patentable, but then later retracted the blanket prohibition against patenting software.