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Supreme Court Decision Challenges Software Patents
Written by Gizmo   
Thursday, 03 May 2007 11:14

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

When the Supreme Court of the United States ruled for KSR in the case of KSR Int'l Co. v. Teleflex Inc., it also served notice to the software industry that major changes may be afoot in both the granting and protecting of existing software patents.

Read the full story at EWeek:

For several years now, software patents have frequently been seen by many as stifling innovation, granting intellectual property claims for ideas that had been around for decades and awarding the companies that hold them hundreds of millions of dollars—such as in RIM vs. NTP—even when the patents themselves have been rejected by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Now, as Pamela Jones, editor of the intellectual property law news site Groklaw, noted, "The standout paragraph" in the decision written by Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy read:

    "We build and create by bringing to the tangible and palpable reality around us new works based on instinct, simple logic, ordinary inferences, extraordinary ideas, and sometimes even genius. These advances, once part of our shared knowledge, define a new threshold from which innovation starts once more. And as progress beginning from higher levels of achievement is expected in the normal course, the results of ordinary innovation are not the subject of exclusive rights under the patent laws. Were it otherwise patents might stifle, rather than promote, the progress of useful arts."

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