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Supreme Court Refuses To Hear Newegg Patent Case 204

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the onward-to-the-next-battle dept.
NormalVisual writes "'It's a really tough time to be a patent owner', said Soverain Software, LLC president Katharine Wolanyk, after the Supreme Court refused to hear their appeal after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit invalidated three of Soverain's shopping cart patents. Soverain had sued Newegg for allegedly infringing the patents in question, and had won in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. Newegg later had the decision overturned on appeal, with the court ruling that the patents in question were obvious, and thus invalid."
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Supreme Court Refuses To Hear Newegg Patent Case

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  • Links to Patents (Score:5, Informative)

    by FalleStar (847778) on Monday January 13, 2014 @09:29PM (#45946465) Homepage
    #5715314 [uspto.gov] - The second most long-winded description of every online store ever.
    #5909492 [uspto.gov] - The most long-winded description of every online store ever, much of it seems to be copied & pasted straight from the top link.
    #7272639 [uspto.gov] - Describes what a session is.

    Soverain Software is just another patent troll that never should have had them assigned in the first place.
  • by similar_name (1164087) on Monday January 13, 2014 @09:32PM (#45946481)
    Software would still be covered by copyright.
  • by pcwhalen (230935) <pcwhalenNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday January 13, 2014 @10:35PM (#45946979) Journal

    Not in the same fashion:
    U.S. Code Title 17 Chapter 1 102 "(b) In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work."

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/102 [cornell.edu]

    So, where Congress extended copyright in 1980 to computer programs, that is different than the underlying method or process.

    The Supreme Court held in this case that a payment system was too basic to merit patent protection and declined to hear the appeal.

  • by jmichaelg (148257) on Monday January 13, 2014 @11:53PM (#45947537) Journal

    Back in the day, software was not patentable as it was treated akin to a mathematical formula. The one patent I was aware of was a patent Atari snuck through by designing a circuit that XOR'ed a bit pattern to change the color a TV was displaying to avoid burn in. They patented the circuit and tucked a sentence into the patent that said they also claimed any implementation in software as well but the primary patent was for the circuit. We relied on copyright protection and pretty much ignored patents. Then the Supreme Court made a few rulings that opened the door to the possibility of patenting software.

    Following up on the rulings, the Patent Office embarked on a series of "hearings" held around the country ostensibly to see whether it was a good idea to patent software or not. This was sometime in the early 90's. Towards the end of their tour, they finally brought their dog and pony show to San Jose.

    Literally, almost *EVERY* developer testified that it was a really bad idea. The one exception that I recall was some idiot with a beauty salon app that would show you what you would look like with various hair styles. The rest of the developers said "No. We don't want this - it's a really, really, bad idea." Several developers made the point that we weren't constrained by a paucity of ideas as much as choosing which ideas to implement well.

    The other group that was there in some numbers were attorneys - I recall Borland sent their corporate attorney. To a man, the attorneys all testified in favor of the idea.

    Towards the end of the testimony, one of the developers pointed out the fact that the only people who seemed to like the idea were the attorneys. At which point, the Patent Office person (can't remember his name but iirc he headed the department at the time.) grinned and said something to the effect that the attorneys tended to get their way.

    And they did. The people whom patents ostensibly protected were ignored in favor of the attorneys.

  • by s.petry (762400) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @11:56AM (#45951515)

    The difference is that the Patent covers the method, while the Copyright covers the implementation of the method. Ten minutes of Google searches could have shown you exactly that difference as well as why it matters.

    Copyright prevents me from stealing your work. Just like I can't steal Steven King's work for my own horror novel. Patents ensure that Steven King is the only person that can write horror novels or control who does. Yes, that analogy is correct and yes you could have figured it out rather easily.

    BPP (Business Process Patents) simply needs to be repealed. It was an overreach to ensure that the lordlings took back all the serfs land.

Parts that positively cannot be assembled in improper order will be.

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