Saturday, November 01, 2008

» Bilski Decision, business methods patents begone ?

Very interesting read on Groklaw, and definitely good news for almost everyone in the IT industry. But I wouldn't conclude to Shantanu's "Microsoft Has A Problem: Software Patents Go Up In Smoke" for several reasons:
  1. software patents aren't gone yet, not by any means, but the Bilski decision seems to at least discard the most ridiculous and invasive ones
  2. we still have to see how that court decision translates into what the USPTO will grant as patents or not, as the fact that a patent should be granted or not doesn't really relate to what patent offices actually grant (just think of what the EPO has been doing for years)
Note that Microsoft has filed material against business methods patents together with Dell. This is understandable, because Microsoft is also frequently attacked on trivial patents. And thanks to Redhat for submitting material too. Looks like a great decision and a big step forward against software patents, but I'll believe it when I see it.

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Blogger Mark Nowotarski said...

The Bilski decision is good news, but not for the reason you think.

The biggest winners from the Bilski decision might be systems consultants. As a US patent agent specializing in business method patents, one of the strategies I’ve emphasized for software professionals seeking a patent is for them to spend a little extra money to hire a systems consultant to spec out the hardware implementation of their inventions. We then include those specifications in the patent application with the systems consultant as a coinventor.

The strategy has been very successful and with Bilski taking such a strong stand on the importance of tying a new software invention to a “particular machine”, it should be even more effective in the future.


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