Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 19th Jun 2014 23:59 UTC
Legal

The US Supreme Court has made it ever so slightly harder to patent software.

The patent claimed a method of hedging against counter-party risk, which is a fancy word for the risk that you make a deal with someone and later he doesn't uphold his end of the bargain. The Supreme Court unanimously held that you can't patent an abstract concept like this merely by stating that the hedging should be done on a computer. This kind of abstract patent is depressingly common in the software industry, and the CLS ruling will cause lower courts to take a harder look at them.

It's a small victory, but hey, I take whatever I can. Sadly, the SCOTUS also states that "many computer-implemented claims" are still eligible for patent protection, without actually explaining which claims. So, while appending "on a computer" to an obvious abstract concept does not make it patentable, the actual concept of patenting software is still very much allowed.

Even if the SCOTUS had completely abolished software patents, however, we still would have to deal with them for more than a decade - existing software patents would not magically vanish, and would still require lengthy and expensive court cases to be invalidated. Something bullies like Microsoft and Apple can afford easily, while many others cannot.

Sorry for not putting a smile on your face, but reality is reality. Sadly.

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RE[9]: Well ...
by Alfman on Fri 20th Jun 2014 22:26 UTC in reply to "RE[8]: Well ..."
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

WorknMan,

I'm simply saying that if you're going to do so by reverse engineering my shit, incorporating that into your own project, and marketing it based on the fact that it's compatible with mine, then you should at least be paying me a little off the top. THAT is what I mean by 'piggybacking'.


Well if the third party actually did their own work and implemented their own software, then it should be fair game even if it's designed to be "compatible". Without source code they still have to implement everything by the sweat of their brow. You speak as though compatibility is stealing, but they are not being compatible to save themselves work as you are implying, they're doing it to give users a means to escape vender-lock.

Hell, I might even be willing to sell you a license to the source code, and save you the cost and aggravation of reverse engineering it yourself.


Actually this is exactly how it *should* work! Developers should have the choice to license software (aka outsourcing), or implement it themselves. If licensing is a better value proposition (time to market, cheaper, expertise, maintenance, etc), then one shouldn't need the patent system at all to make a sale. Alternatively if the offering isn't compelling enough, then one should be free to implement it oneself.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[10]: Well ...
by WorknMan on Sat 21st Jun 2014 02:14 in reply to "RE[9]: Well ..."
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Alternatively if the offering isn't compelling enough, then one should be free to implement it oneself.


To me, that's like saying 'if the price of this piece of software isn't compelling enough, then one should be free to pirate it.'

I guess we will have to agree to disagree on this. Some crackers work hard to disassemble the copy protection of a software and distribute pirated versions; that doesn't make it right.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[11]: Well ...
by Alfman on Sat 21st Jun 2014 04:28 in reply to "RE[10]: Well ..."
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

WorknMan,

To me, that's like saying 'if the price of this piece of software isn't compelling enough, then one should be free to pirate it.'

I guess we will have to agree to disagree on this. Some crackers work hard to disassemble the copy protection of a software and distribute pirated versions; that doesn't make it right.


Haha, why is it these patent debates always go back to examples using copyrights?

Infringing patents are to violating copyrights as violating copyrights are to stealing a car.

And yet...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0CkJgHKEY8

Edited 2014-06-21 04:47 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3