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[Fedora-legal-list] Re: Software is once again unpatentable in the United States



Valent Turkovic wrote:
Quote from http://www.pli.edu/patentcenter/blog.asp?view=plink&id=368 :

Here are the highlights:

  * The Federal Circuit rejected the that the "useful, concrete and tangible
	result" inquiry as being inadequate.

  * Patentability under 101 does not depend on process steps, but rather
	requires a tangible machine or transformation into a different state.

  * *Software* *is* *once* *again* *unpatentable* *in* *the* *United* *States*

  * In order to protect what was formerly known as patentable software we
	will have to go back to claiming a machine that provides certain
	functionality.

  * Software patents that have been issued under the previous understanding
	of the law are almost certainly now worthless.

This is a step in the right direction in terms of seeing most software as math operations instead of a model of hardware. But the Supreme Court is probably going to have to rule on it before the matter is settled - if the legislation isn't changed first to be more explicit.

But the concept that I'd really like to see put forth is that if, as a consumer, you have one set of bits incorporating a patented algorithm you then have the right to use any other arrangement of bits to accomplish that same algorithm's effect, just as in the hardware case that this is supposed to model, you would be permitted to rearrange and alter the parts of your licensed device without having to purchase a new license to cover the same patent.

--
  Les Mikesell
   lesmikesell gmail com


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