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



Jon Ciesla wrote:
Matthew Woehlke wrote:
Also from http://ben.klemens.org/blog/arch/00000009.htm:
Despite claiming that all that matters is the
machine-or-transformation test, the ruling also bears in mind many
other necessary conditions for patentability, such as the rule that a
patent may not �wholly pre-empt� a law of nature or principle or
mathematical formula. Also, if you wholly pre-empt a mathematical
algorithm within some narrow field of endeavor, the court rules that
this is still a pre-emption. I'll have a little more on this below.
Note "a patent may not 'wholly pre-empt' ... a mathematical formula".

...which means all those codecs from livna/rpmfusion just became 100%
legal, no royalty required*.

(* assuming the copyright license is not an issue, of course)

I assume an "official" statement on this from Fedora/RedHat legal folk
will be forthcoming.

Unless it already has, and I missed it, which is entirely possible.

Jeff already pointed out RH's press release. As has been stated, the Bilski decision does not paint the issue in black and white, and as such, I don't expect *Red Hat* to decide that including e.g. lame in Fedora is now okay.

Nevertheless, if the rule that math cannot be patented is upheld, I think victory, at least for some areas that have historically caused much friction (i.e. multimedia codecs) is inevitable. (And since other areas fall more closely into "business methods", well... those patents are in for rough times as well.)

And it's ammunition for non-paid "patented" codec users to say (rightfully) that the patents they are allegedly violating are, in fact, illegal.

--
Matthew
Please do not quote my e-mail address unobfuscated in message bodies.
--
Igor Peshansky: Don't hippos love water even more than dogs?
Dave Korn: Don't ask me. I didn't even know that hippos loved dogs.


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