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Debunking the Software Patent “Pen and Paper Myth” - The pen and paper myth goes like this: software should not be patentable because anything that can be done with pen and paper is not an invention and exclusive rights should not be given to any one person or entity. Presumably the thought process here is that if you patent software you would prevent someone from engaging in the method using pen and paper.
Gene Quinn at IPWatchDog asks an important question about the future of patent law, and patent prosecution in perticular. His teaser...
The Strange Case of the Vanishing Patent Boutiques - Litigation is where the big firms and larger IP firms make their money, that much is certain. Those firms with litigation practices that also engage in patent prosecution do so typically for the purpose of keeping clients in the firm for all their patent needs. With large fees available for litigators and extreme downward pressure on patent prosecution it is no wonder many boutiques can't keep up. Litigation attorneys move on to greener pastures leaving patent prosecution specialists scrambling to pay overhead for an office at 100 Extremely Rich Sounding Street in Crazyexpensiveville. [IP Watchdog]
Well, there's been lots of frothing about obvious error and strong declarations about what this all means for patenting gene sequences. (I'll note that Gene Quinn at IP Watchdog hasn't really simmered-down much is his later posting..). But now that we've had a chance to think about things a little, I have to ask. Is the ruling so obviously wrong?
Oral arguments in the Bilski patent case were recently heard at the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). The line of questioning from the justices suggests to me that they have an understanding of computers and software that could be very problematic for those of us designing software and trying to protect that intellectual property with patents.