What’s up with software copyright? Contrasting Oracle v Google and SAS v WPL

For something which has the unequivocal weight of the law behind it, software copyright has had a rather bumpy history in the courts. Once we get past the obvious facts of law, namely that copyright protects source code, the application of such protection has been more difficult. The reason for […]

When patents attack

This is an excellent podcast from NPR about software patents Some truly eye-opening interviews and in-depth investigation looking at patent trolls, the reason East Texas District is the epicentre for patent litigation, and the effect of software patents on innovation. While it is obviously American-centric, anyone involved in software has […]

Lodsys and app patent disputes

Imagine that you are a software developer, you hire programmers to produce real applications and offer them to the public. You produce innovative products, engage with customers, and sell quality applications. The software market is competitive, but you are doing relatively well. Then one day a letter arrives out of […]

Hargreaves report published

The long-awaited Hargreaves report entitled Digital Opportunity: A Review of Intellectual Property and Growth, has been published. Several of the report´s elements had been leaked in advance, so the provisions do not come as a surprise. The motivation for setting up the review reportedly came from a meeting between UK’s […]

Microsoft sues cloud computing provider for patent infringement

This one is a bit puzzling. Microsoft holds several software patents, just like any other large tech company. However, they are not known to litigate, and mostly engage in cross-licensing agreements with their portfolio (remember Novell?). But now Microsoft has sued cloud computing and consumer relationship management provider Salesforce for […]

Patenting maths

I’ve finally watched the excellent video “Patent Absurdity: how software patents broke the system”, and I highly recommend it. It contains several interviews surrounding the Bilski case in the U.S. Supreme Court, with commentary from some of the biggest names in the software patent debate. I will let the video […]

NCSoft sued for avatar patent infringement

(Via Colin Miller) NCSoft, the producers of virtual worlds such as Lineage, City of Heroes and Guild Wars has been sued by virtual platform developer Worlds.com, which holds several patents on 3D environments. Back in December, Terra Nova had reported that Worlds.com had announced that it would be enforcing its […]

Patenting patent trolling

(via Patently-O) Halliburton (yes, THAT Halliburton) has made a patent application for patent trolling. Enjoy USPTO application 20080270152, which protects a method for “Patent Acquisition and Assertion by a (Non-Inventor) First Party Against a Second Party”. The abstract reads: “Methods for a first party to acquire and assert a patent […]