The shifting rules about software patentability reflect a long-running tug of war between the Supreme Court and the Federal Circuit. The Federal Circuit loves software patents; the Supreme Court is more skeptical.
That fight continues today. While the Federal Circuit has invalidated many software patents in the four years since the Alice ruling, it also seems to be looking for legal theories that could justify more software patents. Only continued vigilance from the Supreme Court is likely to ensure things don’t get out of hand again.
The 40-year-old Flook ruling remains a key weapon in the Supreme Court’s arsenal. It’s the court’s strongest statement against patenting software. And, while software patent supporters aren’t happy about it, it’s still the law of the land.
That’s the third US legal article in a row, but it’s a great article that looks at the history of the tug of war between the Supreme Court and the Federal Circuit.
I miss Groklaw. Used to be a great go-to for this kinda stuff.
The diversity of articles that you’ve been posting lately is awesome, there’s a little something for everyone! I usually speak up only to be critical, but it seems unfair to stay silent when I think you are doing a good job, so thanks for the good news coverage. I know how difficult it can be to do a good job when people don’t show their appreciation for it.
If only the Supreme Court were as enlightened on API copyrights…
If lobbying is protected as free speech, why can’t be code? (so software patents would be… against freedom of speech?)