Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

And another win for the good guys

More importantly to some of us, here's another TechCrunch article -- apparently, the DC Court of Appeals has just invalidated a broad swathe of business-process patents.

For those who haven't been following along, business-process patents are one of the biggest tech controversies of the past decade: they basically allow you to patent very vague concepts that are (IMO) a horrible abuse of the patent process. They're gradually dragging down the software industry, because there are so many of these patents that it is becoming increasingly difficult to write *anything* without tripping over somebody's patent by accident. There's an entire irritating sub-industry of companies that do nothing but buy old dead patents and go looking for people who violated them accidentally, who they can then sue.

I haven't read through the details yet, and I suspect that this isn't going to solve anything like the whole problem. But any step that chips away at the patent morass is probably a good step in my book...

ETA: See Ars Technica for a bit more information. It sounds like the tide is really beginning to turn -- the court officially discounted one of its previous pro-patent decisions.
Tags: technology

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