A Federal Appeals Court is Scheduled to Hear Arguments Today Over When Software is Patentable —Wall Street Journal, Seeking Alpha Reviewed by Momizat on . "It's a Huge Case for the Patent-Law Community." On One Side: Google, Facebook, Intuit.  On the Other? IBM. "Because the patents are often unclear, there's no w "It's a Huge Case for the Patent-Law Community." On One Side: Google, Facebook, Intuit.  On the Other? IBM. "Because the patents are often unclear, there's no w Rating: 0
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A Federal Appeals Court is Scheduled to Hear Arguments Today Over When Software is Patentable —Wall Street Journal, Seeking Alpha

“It’s a Huge Case for the Patent-Law Community.” On One Side: Google, Facebook, Intuit.  On the Other? IBM.

“Because the patents are often unclear, there’s no way to know whether an infringement claim by a competitor or a troll is legitimate until you’ve spent $8 million in litigation fees,” said Mr. Schruers

Ashby Jones in the Wall Street Journal  reports this morning that a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., will hear arguments Friday over a fundamental question that has vexed the technology industry for nearly two decades: When is a piece of software patentable?

The issue has created a curious split in the technology sector. On one side lie technology giants such as Google Inc., Facebook Inc. and Intuit Inc.,which largely believe the Patent & Trademark Office has issued too many software patents in recent years and would like to see courts apply a more exacting standard when reviewing them.

On the other lies a collection of big and small technology companies and patent holders, including International Business Machines Corp., which contend that tighter standards on software patents could hinder innovation.  More:

The case, which will be argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, a specialized court that mostly handles patent cases, concerns a computer program that helps foreign-exchange buyers and sellers settle their trades.

In 2007, CLS Bank International sued Alice Corp., an Australian company partly owned by National Australia Bank Ltd., asking a court to invalidate several Alice patents on the idea.

CLS, which sells services to buyers and sellers on the foreign-exchange markets, argued that Alice’s patents described a process—using an intermediary to settle trades—that has been around for a long time. In the parlance of patent law, the fundamental idea behind the software is too “abstract” to patent, CLS’s lawyers argued.

See previous QuickRead coverage:

 

patents

The World of Patents May Be Redefined

Seeking Alpha adds:

6:11 AM  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 to 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.”

If anyone hasn’t listened to American Public Media‘s “This American Life” segment on When Patents Attack!, it’s well worth your time, even if you have minimal interest in patent law.  There’s drama, intrigue, and a fascinating look at how our process and law in this country do (or don’t!) work effectively.

 

 

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