Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 6th Jul 2011 14:00 UTC
Microsoft Well, paint me red and call me a girl scout, I totally did not see this one coming at all. This is so utterly surprising it made my brain explode. Hold on to your panties, because this will rock your world. After pressuring several smaller Android vendors into submission (and yes, HTC is still relatively small compared to other players), Microsoft is now moving on to the big one: Redmond is demanding $15 for every Samsung Android device sold. Samsung's choices are simple: pay up, or face another epic lawsuit.
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That description of patents is outdated. In software there is no difference between a method and an idea, and patents are generally formulated so generic they can cover an entire field. So patents are awarded for ideas. The best example of this is not even software patents, but business plan patents.

Pure software patents and business plan patents are not allowed period.

"In United States patent law, the machine-or-transformation test is a test of patent eligibility under which a claim to a process qualifies to be considered for patenting if it (1) is implemented with a particular machine, that is, one specifically devised and adapted to carry out the process in a way that is not concededly conventional and is not trivial; or else (2) transforms an article from one thing or state to another."

A piece of software is not patentable (even in the US) unless it is part of a specific machine (one specifically devised and adapted to carry out the patented process). Under this definition, for example, an application running on a general-purpose PC is not patentable (becaue the PC is general purpose).

In the EU, scientific discoveries, mathematics and software, aka as 'programs for computers', are all specifically mentioned as things which are not patentable.

In the EU:
The following in particular shall not be regarded as inventions within the meaning of paragraph 1:
(a) discoveries, scientific theories and mathematical methods;
(b) aesthetic creations;
(c) schemes, rules and methods for performing mental acts, playing games or doing business, and programs for computers;
(d) presentations of information.

According to the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) patents may only be granted for physical embodiments of an idea, or a process that results in something that is tangible or can be sold. This excludes theorems, computer programs per se, or business methods.

Edited 2011-07-11 00:23 UTC

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