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Re: A Patent on Continuations?

"Peter J. Wasilko, Esq." <futurist@cloud9.net> writes:

>     Given the Patent and Trademark Office's tendency to miss prior art
> in the CS disciplines and to issue overly broad patents, this list
> should be *very* concerned if there really is a patent on continuations
> in the pipeline.

Should we be very concerned about software patents?  This is an open
question.  Most of us seem able to muddle along ignoring them, yet it's
hard to gauge the exact risks.

Just to clarify the problem, however: It isn't that the USPTO misses
prior art and grants overly broad patents.  It's that patents are
granted on computer software.  The US Supreme Court has always deemed
computer software not to be patentable material.  Unfortunately, their
latest ruling (Diamond v. Diehr, 1981) has been misinterpreted by some
as opening the door to software patents, though the contrary is obvious
to anyone who actually reads the opinion.

Unfortunately, one of the people who misinterpreted that decision was a
lower court judge.  We will have to wait until a case reaches the US
Supreme Court before the situation is remedied, and they are asked to
hear about ten times as many cases as they can actually hear.  It may be
a while.

I've been thinking about putting together a condensed version of the
Diamond v. Diehr decision, but I don't know if it would be of interest
to anyone.