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Is also worth reading.
Basically, while this is not a hands down win for opponents of software (or business method) patents, the upholding of the older cases (Flook, Diehr, etc.) could give some guidance on future cases that may help them rule out abstract ideas and algorithms. Villa also talks a bit about how the lower courts may see this and how he thinks they may be handling future patent cases.
CmdrTaco from the well-isn't-that-special dept.
ciaran_o_riordan writes "The US Supreme Court has finally decided the Bilski case (PDF). We've known that Bilski's patent would get thrown out; that was clear from the open mockery from the judges during last November's hearing. The big question is, since rejecting a particular patent requires providing a general test and explaining why this patent fails that test, how broad will their test be? Will it try to kill the plague of software patents? And is their test designed well enough to stand up to the army of patent lawyers who'll be making a science (and a career) of minimizing and circumventing it? The judges have created a new test, so this will take some reading before any degree of victory can be declared. The important part is pages 5-16 of the PDF, which is the majority opinion. The End Software Patents campaign is already analyzing the decision, and collecting other analyses. Some background is available at Late-comers guide: What is Bilski anyway?"More analysis of the decision is available at Patently-O.
hackingbear (988354) writes "The New York Times warned the possibility of an inflation, not from our skyrocketing government debt but skyrocketing cost of doing business in China. Coastal factories are raising salaries, local governments are hiking minimum wage standards and if China allows its currency, the renminbi, to appreciate against the U.S. dollar later this year, the cost of manufacturing in China will almost certainly rise. [The report missed the biggest cost factors in China — electric and water utility costs.] “For a long time, China has been the anchor of global disinflation,” said Dong Tao, an economist at Credit Suisse. “But this may be the beginning of the end of an era.” The shift was dramatized Sunday, when Foxconn, the maker of the iPhone and everything else, said that within three months it would double (rather than the rumored 20%) the salaries of many of its assembly line workers. And last week, the Japanese auto maker Honda said it had agreed to give about 1,900 workers at one of its plants in southern China raises of between 24 percent and 32 percent in the hopes of ending a two week-long strike, according to people briefed on the agreement. [However, while big and famous manufactures, like those in the US and Europe, may worry about their PR images and give in to labor demands, it is unclear thousands of smaller ones would follow. And given the millions of workers waiting for work from India to Vietnam, the only thing changed, if any, may be the Made in China label of your gadgets. ]" Link to Original Source
Luminary Crush writes "Two new papers based on data from NASA's Cassini spacecraft scrutinize the complex chemical activity on the surface of Saturn's moon Titan. While non-biological chemistry offers one possible explanation, some scientists believe these chemical signatures bolster the argument for a primitive, exotic form of life or precursor to life on Titan's surface." Link to Original Source
An anonymous reader writes "The Eclipse Foundation released its 2010 Eclipse Community Survey results, which reveal an interesting snapshot of one slice of the development community. Despite the bias (most of the respondents are Eclipse users), the results show the rise of Linux as a favored platform for development. This year, 32.7 percent of respondents cited Linux as their development platform, up 5.8 percent from 2009, and 12.7 percent from the 2007 survey. However, blogger Brian Proffitt points out a troubling finding — that open source participation seems to be stalled. According to the report, in terms of corporate policies towards open source participation, 48% of the respondents in 2009 claimed they could contribute back to OSS versus only 35.4% in 2010."
ciaran_o_riordan (662132) writes "No matter which side the US Supreme Court's Bilski decision pleases, it will be just the beginning of the software patent debate in the USA — the other side will start a legislative battle. The lobbying has already begun with venture capitalist Brad Feld arguing against software patents, mailing a copy of Patent Absurdity to 200 patent policy setters. As Feld puts it, "Specifically, I'm hoping the film will bring you to an understanding of why patents on software are a massive tax on and retardant of innovation in the US." The patent lawyers and big patent holders often tell us that patents are needed to secure investment, so it's interesting to see now that venture capitalists are refuting that. And Brad Feld's not the only vocal one, there's a growing list." Link to Original Source
timothy from the y'know-fellas-the-license dept.
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "The Free Software Foundation has discovered that an application currently distributed in Apple's App Store is a port of GNU Go. This makes it a GPL violation, because Apple controls distribution of all such programs through the iTunes Store Terms of Service, which is incompatible with section 6 of the GPLv2. It's an unusual enforcement action, though, because they don't want Apple to just make the app disappear, they want Apple to grant its users the full freedoms offered by the GPL. Accordingly, they haven't sued or sent any legal threats and are instead in talks with Apple about how they can offer their users the GPLed software legally, which is difficult because it's not possible to grant users all the freedoms they're entitled to and still comply with Apple's restrictive licensing terms."
timothy from the need-to-fatten-that-one-a-bit dept.
Pickens writes: "Cory Doctorow writes that Ralph Lauren issued a DMCA takedown notice after Boing Boing republished the Photoshop disaster contained in a Ralph Lauren advertisement in which a model's proportions appear to have been altered to give her an impossibly skinny body with the model's head larger than her pelvis. Doctorow says that one of the things that makes their ISP Priority Colo so awesome is that they don't automatically act on DMCA takedowns and proceeded to dare Lauren to sue. 'This is classic fair use: a reproduction "for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting," etc,' writes Doctorow. 'Copyright law doesn't give you the right to threaten your critics for pointing out the problems with your offerings.' Doctorow adds that every time Lauren threatens to sue he will 'reproduce the original criticism, making damned sure that all our readers get a good, long look at it,' 'publish your spurious legal threat along with copious mockery,' and 'offer nourishing soup and sandwiches to your models.'"
samzenpus from the fighting-the-good-fight dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Free Software Foundation's Holmes Wilson is just back from Berlin, where he participated in the Ogg Theora book sprint put on by FLOSS Manuals. Here is a broad look at Ogg Theora and how it fits into the push for free formats: where we're winning, what works, and what could be improved."
Saint Aardvark writes "The Free Software Foundation has announced that they've settled their lawsuit with Cisco (reported earlier here). In the announcement, they say that Cisco has agreed to appoint a Free Software Director for Linksys, who will report periodically to the FSF; to notify Linksys customers of their rights; and to make a monetary donation to the FSF. An accompanying blog entry explains further: 'Whenever we talk about the work we do to handle violations, we say over and over again that getting compliance with the licenses is always our top priority. The reason this is so important is not only because it provides a goal for us to reach, but also because it gives us a clear guide to choosing our tactics. This is the first time we've had to go to court over a license violation.'"
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "With a $3000 grant in hand from the Expert Witness Defense Fund administered by the Free Software Foundation to help defendants in RIAA lawsuits, Jammie Thomas has asked the Court for an extension of time for discovery to enable her to retain an expert witness. The first time around, in her October, 2007, trial, she was unable to afford an expert. That verdict has since been set aside, and a new trial scheduled for March 9th of this year. This will be the second case in which the FSF has lent a hand, the first being UMG Recordings v. Lindor, where it contributed $2046.92 for the expert and $750.00 for the tech consultant. FSF's executive director Peter Brown told p2pnet today that 'Our concern was how the RIAA is trying to use this sledge-hammer against the poorest people in society to set precedents in copyright' and that 'the FSF still needs contributions so the fund can be used to help other people'." Link to Original Source