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Patents

Submission + - Bilski hearing comments on software patents 1

H4x0r Jim Duggan writes: End Software Patents have published their analysis of what the Bilski hearing statements imply for software patents: At Monday's hearing (transcript html, pdf), neither party had the objective of abolishing software patents. The Bilski case is about a business method patent, so there was Mr. Jakes arguing that business methods should be patentable, and Mr. Stewart arguing that they shouldn't. For software to be excluded, we're relying on the judges (to whom we wrote an amicus brief, as did many others). There're some worrying statements, but there's definitely hope.
Patents

Submission + - FSF to Supremes: software patents are unjust (endsoftpatents.org)

H4x0r Jim Duggan writes: Not taking chances on any particular argument, FSF has submitted a brief approaching the word limit. After outlining the contribution of the free software movement to software progress, the brief details how software patents fail their constitutional justification, and how the USPTO's practice is harming individual freedom, community development projects and the progress of software as users would want. "Given that software development includes common activities such as making a webpage, the freedom to use a computer as you see fit for your daily life is a fundamental form of expression, just as using a pen and paper is. ... In the context of writing an email reader, a word processor, or an image viewer, being blocked from reading, modifying, or writing in the required data format is equivalent to being banned from writing a functional program for that task.

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