A federal appeals court is scheduled to hear arguments today over when software is patentable....

A federal appeals court is scheduled to hear arguments today over when software is patentable. On the one side, tech giants such as Google (GOOG) and Facebook (FB) reckon the patent office has been too generous with its awarding of patents - no irony intended. On the other side, IBM (IBM) and a collection of other tech companies and patent trolls argue that tightening up the standards will harm innovation. The case itself is between CLS Bank and Australian firm Alice Corp.

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Comments (4)
  • MohanTx1
    , contributor
    Comments (64) | Send Message
    I do not think, ideas should not be awarded patents. Software code should be awarded patent protection.
    Ideas will occur to many people, let us say, more competition will lower health costs. Should this be patentable...
    No.... Okay, how about a video chat with your primary physician, is that patent able. No...
    How about, if somebody develops a platform for video MD visits...
    Yes, that can be patented....
    8 Feb 2013, 07:36 AM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (5866) | Send Message
    The idea of such a video platform, perhaps, but the code will mostly come under "obvious to anyone well versed in the field", or words to that effect. As an engineer, I have problems with this as, once you demonstrate a mechanism, it immediately becomes a case of "it's obvious (any fool could have done it)".


    Furthermore, the patent examiner is second guessing what an unknown engineer may think (who may or may not have an aptitude for new product design; very few do) and so is introducing subjectivity on two distinct levels, when there is no need; the objective test of novelty is:


    1/ Does the device improve on current practise, or is it useful or valuable in its own right? If yes to either, then:


    2/ Has it been done before? If no, then it deserves patent protection!


    The trouble is, I've never come across a patent office that does it that way! All these extra subjective tests do nothing but succour the legal profession, which is not what "letters patent" were intended for; they were meant to encourage invention, by giving the inventor a means of protecting his intellectual property. It does that today, but only if you've got as much money as whoever wants to pinch your ideas!
    8 Feb 2013, 09:03 AM Reply Like
  • User 7871741
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
    Patents were meant to benefit society by fostering innovation. They way they are used now they mainly benefit the lawyers and the rich big companies and the patent trolls. The system is broken, the best way to benefit society is not to allow any software patents, which are simply math algorithms. This will allow more rapid information sharing , innovation, drive competition and efficiency which make everyone richer.
    10 Feb 2013, 01:09 AM Reply Like
  • gwynfryn
    , contributor
    Comments (5866) | Send Message
    Especially us poor inventors; as things stand, I'd have to be a lot richer than I am now to even consider a patent application worthwhile!
    11 Feb 2013, 10:58 AM Reply Like
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