I'm always surprised...

Story: New Zealand to bar software patents, againTotal Replies: 4
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May 10, 2013
1:17 AM EDT
...when this happens, but no-one has commented, let alone raised a digital eyebrow. And yet in its way, I think this is earth-shaking and ground-breaking. Well done NZ.

To me, this NZ move is brilliantly sensible, in addition it puts on display to the USA exactly what its Congress needs to do in that country as well. Of course, huge USA businesses with software patents will scream blue murder, but I think it's now critically necessary that the USA return the playing field to absolutely level and on terms of true product competition ONLY. Think of the savings in court costs alone; think of the patent lawyers scrambling for another job - LOL. Think of Microsoft no longer getting patent rip-offs from Android.....oh deary me.

Just across the Tasman from me, my Kiwi cousins in their Parliament have stolen a march on Australia and legislated to prevent software patents from ever scrambling their courts and business in the way that has happened in the USA. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the "disease was catching" ? Ah well, I guess I am too simplistic (or possibly enthusiastic) in my outlook.

May 10, 2013
9:02 AM EDT
Oh, I commented, just not here. I did so where I could give full vent to my enthusiasm.

May 10, 2013
6:09 PM EDT
STOP PRESS.......!!!!!!!!!

May I direct everybody's attention to the top article on Groklaw:


As described more fully below, we would affirm the district court’s judgment in its entirety and hold that the method, computer-readable medium, and corresponding system claims before us recite patent-ineligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101.

As I read this, the court is saying essentially that software cannot be patented. Time for wiser heads than mine to comment please. But from what I see, PJ of Groklaw is ecstatic over this court decision. It looks like the courts are now running ahead of the legislators.

Edit update. One of the dissenting judges, Moore, wrote in her dissent comments this information:

“Let’s be clear: if all of these claims, including the system claims, are not patent-eligible, this case is the death of hundreds of thousands of patents, including all business method, financial system, and software patents as well as many computer implemented and telecommunications patents”.

So, as a judge, she was acutely aware of the ramifications of this court decision. It is already being noted that phones will be running hot as patent holders contact their patent attorneys to try to find out if they still have any assets. What price the software wars of Microsoft, Apple, etc. etc. ?

May 10, 2013
8:33 PM EDT
Well, to sum things up... Woot!!!

But that said, it's a bit too early to be that optimistic. The case will likely be appealed to the Supreme Court, and we have no idea exactly how they will rule. And as PJ notes, the individual decisions are all over the map. Getting a coherent whole out of the matter for use by future courts will be an extremely difficult matter.

May 10, 2013
9:47 PM EDT
I'm with you on that one jdixon......Woot indeed ! The point that needs to be stressed however is that although, as PJ points out, the individual decisions are all over the place, another legal writer has stressed that while this is so, 7/10 of the judges agreed with the statement that the material was not patentable. What the legal writer stressed was that it was the individual reasons they gave for their "agreed 7/10 decision" that differed.

Oh, I'm sure it will be challenged, but personally (and I suppose this is more hope than knowledge) I think it would be a rather brave higher court that overturned an "en banc" majority decision such as this one is. I remain "quietly" optimistic......It's certainly a step in the right direction.

Assuming the decision holds (and I think/hope it will) this is going to play merry hell with law suits in all directions and some big corporations are going to be left holding zilch in lot of patent assets. I cannot admit to being sorry in any way.....This disgusting situation has stopped USA innovation and progress for far too long.

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