July 22, 2011

When Patents Attack! | This American Life

When #Patents Attack!:
"Why would a company rent an office in a tiny town in East Texas, put a nameplate on the door, and leave it completely empty for a year? The answer involves a controversial billionaire physicist in Seattle, a 40 pound cookbook, and a war waging right now, all across the software and tech industries."

July 21, 2011

Judge May Scale Back Oracle’s $6 Billion Damage Demand Against Google | mocoNews

Judge May Scale Back Oracle’s $6 Billion Damage Demand Against Google | mocoNews:
Last month, Oracle Corp. wants Google (NSDQ: GOOG) to pay as much as $6 billion—yes, that’s billion with a B—because it says Google’s Android operating system infringes patents the company got when it purchased Sun Microsystems last year. In a hearing today, Google asked the judge to cut that demand down to size and not let Oracle present its “ridiculous” damage claims to a jury.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup, who is overseeing the case, appeared to be open to the idea that Oracle had seriously overshot in its damage report. But he also said that Google’s own damage suggestion—that it owed zero damages even if it infringes Oracle patents—was silly as well. “You’re both asking for the moon and you have to be reasonable,” Alsup told an attorney representing Oracle. And while he might pare back Oracle’s big demands, the scaled-back demands still might be enormous, with the potential damages “in the millions, perhaps the billions,” said Alsup.

July 18, 2011

Bilski's growing up, and smacking down some bad software patents | opensource.com

Bilski's growing up, and smacking down some bad software patents:
"That trend is continuing in a good direction. A new study of the first full year of decisions applying Bilski to software confirms that the direction of the case law is toward finding software is not patentable subject matter. The study by Robert Greene Sterne and Michelle K. Holoubek is titled The Practical Side of §101 : One year post-Bilski: How the decision is being interpreted by the BPAI, District Courts, and Federal Circuit. [PDF] It contains brief summaries of 182 decisions of the BPAI, 6 federal district court decisions, and 3 Federal Circuit decisions. The majority of the BPAI and district court decisions concern software. And many of those software decisions apply Bilski to find that the subject matter is too abstract to be patented."