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Comment Re:Uhhhhh (Score 2, Informative) 799

Copyright is the protection of the expression of an idea, not the idea itself. When you write that short story, or take that picture, your expression of the idea has certain protections when it is created. Registering the copyright is not a condition for protections of copyright.

Copyright cannot be abandoned unless you explicitly release into public domain. Registration is only to put everyone on notice that you have created something and seek certain advantages from the government if someone takes your copyrighted work. It is easier to prove your case in court if you have registered with USPTO and are seeking to prevent someone from using your work (infringing). Essentially, registering bolsters your claim that the work is your expression and not the opposing parties.


Submission + - Crisis Pending for Business Process Patents?

phoey writes: It appears that patents on business processes have finally struck a chord with lawyers, specifically tax lawyers. There is currently a court case (Wealth Transfer Group v. Rowe No. 3:2006cv00024) that will decide (if not settled) whether business processes apply to tax law strategies. It will be interesting to see if the ruling is in favor of carving out an exception for tax law strategies, overturning the ruling from State Street making business processes unpatentable, or neither. State Street Bank & Trust Co. v. Signature Financial Group, 149 F.3d 1368 (Fed. Cir. Jul. 23, 1998).

With little real world experience in law (currently in my second year of law school concentrating in Intellectual Property), I was surprised by the analogy drawn by the patent attorney in the article. He mentions that doctor's have learned to deal with patents on the medical devices they use, so lawyers will have to learn to deal with patents on business processes. The better analogy would be if Doctor's could not perform a particular surgery or surgical technique because it had a business patent. This would most certainly cause outrage in the medical community. As a software engineer, I have seen first hand how patents on business processes (especially obvious ones) can limit innovation in the software development field. It will be interesting to see how the "self-regulating" field of law will resolve this question of patentability of business processes.

Comment Re:Is this the first time? (Score 1) 682

IANAL, but IIRC, the GPL is a licence which you grant to your users, allowing the them the ability to copy/use your copyrighted material.

Which... again IIRC... means that if someone manages to get the GPL turned down in courts, they are REJECTING the licence you provided them and there for, they have no right to copy your copyrighted material. (Although... I dont know if this denies them USE of it. Considering they obtained THEIR copy legally.)

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