At Monday’s hearing (court transcript), neither party had the objective of abolishing software patents. The Bilski case is about a business method patent, so there was Mr. Jakes arguing that business methods should be patentable, and Mr. Stewart arguing that they shouldn’t. For software to be excluded, we’re relying on the judges (to whom we wrote an amicus brief, as did many others). There’re a few worrying statements, but there’s also a lot of hope.
Patently-O was kind enough to publish an editorial by ESP: Abandoning software patents? As well as the hundred comments at the bottom of the article, don’t miss the further comments on comments page 2, and more on comments page 3. Read more…
BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA — Friday, October 2, 2009 — The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today submitted an amicus curiae brief calling on the Supreme Court to affirm that software ideas are not patentable. After outlining the positive impact that the free software movement and the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL) have had on computer use, the brief explains how software patents are an obstacle and a danger to software developers.
ESP responds to the European Patent Office’s consulation about the exclusion of computer programs from patentability
The following is the Amicus curiae brief submitted by End Software Patents regarding the European Patent Office’s referral “G 3/08” on the interpretation of EPC Art.52.
A transcript of Ciaran O’Riordan’s ESP presentation at Libre Planet 2009, March 21st, Boston. Transcript of presentation by Ciaran O’Riordan of ESP’s current plans
LWN.net interviews ESP executive director, March 11, 2009: Interview: Ciaran O’Riordan of End Software Patents
Yesterday, (edit: thus, 2009-02-26) Microsoft attacked free software and GNU/Linux users with software patent claims against the Tom Tom Navigator and its implementation of the FAT file system. But do they have a sword or a wet rag? There have been interesting patent rejections coming from the USPTO’s Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI) since the Bilski ruling was handed down by an en banc hearing of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC). One is the rejection of one of IBM’s database query patents. It was rejected because the innovation isn’t “tied to a particular machine”. So it’s a happy coincidence that MS claims their technology is running on all sorts of devices. Foot, meet mouth.
By organizing this information and delivering it into the hands of activists and law makers, we can form an immense tool to help existing and future campaigns around the world — Ciaran O’Riordan, Director End Software Patents.
As opinions form about the extent to which the Court ruling impacts the patenting of software, one thing is clear. The State Street ruling that in 1998 opened the flood gates to the patenting of business methods and software has been gutted, if not technically overturned.
BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA — April 8, 2008 — End Software Patents (ESP) has filed an amicus curiae brief in the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s (CAFC) rehearing of the In re Bilski case. The rehearing could lead to the elimination of patents on software. ESP executive director Ben Klemens said, “This is an historic opportunity to fix the US patent system, as the Bilski rehearing will directly address the boundaries of the subject matter of patents. In our brief, the End Software Patents project supports the Supreme Court’s long-held position that computer software should not be patentable, and has highlighted to the Court the real economic harm software patents cause the US economy.”
February 28, 2008 – End Software Patents, a project working toward the elimination of software patents, was launched today. The ESP project will initially focus on two approaches: 1) assisting corporations that choose to challenge software patents in the courts and at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on the basis that patents for software and designs with no physically innovative step have no legal validity, and 2) public education aimed at passing laws to protect software from patent law.
End Software Patents (ESP) Project Formed to Eliminate Software Patents
Boston, Mass., February 28, 2008 – End Software Patents, a project working toward the elimination of software patents, was launched today. The ESP project will initially focus on two approaches: 1) assisting corporations that choose to challenge software patents in the courts and at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on the basis that patents for software and designs with no physically innovative step have no legal validity, and 2) public education aimed at passing laws to protect software from patent law.