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Supreme Court Refuses To Hear Newegg Patent Case 204

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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  • by Impy the Impiuos Imp ( 442658 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @09:28PM (#45946457) Journal

    I will keep suggesting:

    1. If it's done in the real world, a simulation or work-alike is not patentable per se.

    2. If it's done over a hardline network, doing it wirelessly is not patentable.

    3. If it's done on a PC, doing it on a tablet or phone or (tbd) is not inherently patentable.

    This is not to say clever implementations could not be patented, but merely changing venue (device, network type, or making a simulation of a real-world thing) is in no way innovative in an obvious sense.

  • by Spy Handler ( 822350 ) on Monday January 13, 2014 @09:36PM (#45946509) Homepage Journal

    Try learning the difference between a patent and copyright before opening your mouth.

    What's the last piece of software you wrote? Did you get it patented? No, you didn't. Yet you still wrote it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 13, 2014 @09:44PM (#45946583)

    That's not a problem for the trolls.

    See, I have the patent on doing X using a phone line. Now that the world has moved on, I can enforce my patent on more and more things thanks to the Doctrine of Equivalents. The internet is just like a phone line. Wireless is just like a phone line. It's totally the same thing, so even though I lacked the foresight or imagination or inventiveness to write these options into my patent, I deserve to continue to receive patent protection against these products created by other people using newfangled modern technology that I was just too busy resting on my laurels and years of patent protection to bother to invent.

    -- PanIP, the original ecommerce patent troll, which held the internet hostage thanks to a patent on selling real estate (or anything like that) over a phone line (or anything like that) using a data processing terminal associated with the selling institution (or not associated, as the case may be).

    Eliminating the Doctrine of Equivalents will go a LOOOONG way towards restoring fairness to the patent process. If my product does not match word for word your patent, then you picked the wrong words.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 13, 2014 @10:04PM (#45946731)

    After the AIA, the willful infringement aspect is gone - by searching and subsequently infringing you do not run into the willful infringement aspect anymore - you should as a result now always search for patents which you might infringe upon in advance.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 13, 2014 @10:10PM (#45946777)

    Patent - 20 years
    Copyright - Forever

    Not sure your point.

  • by Aighearach ( 97333 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @02:04AM (#45948143) Homepage

    Not 20 years yet, but I'm still using a timeseal binary (for compensating for network time on internet chess servers) that was compiled in the late 90s. We're getting close!

    I can still run old copies of XTree Gold in a DOS emulator. Lots of old software is still run just for entertainment purposes, not to mention all the COBOL much older than that that is still running.

    These days you don't really have to upgrade your old mini you've been running since the 70s. You can also just emulate it on modern hardware and keep running your old apps. This is done... a lot. It isn't really the sort of thing most people want to brag about working on, though. It is generally quiet work.

    The difference in term just isn't that important to this problem. The difference is that one protects a specific implementation, and the other creates a monopoly across a whole problem space. I'd rather an implementation be protected for 100 years than the whole problem space protected for 20. Even if both numbers are too high.

  • by John Allsup ( 987 ) <moo.went.the.cow ... co minus painter> on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @08:58AM (#45949815) Homepage Journal
    A 386 has a built in 8086 emulator (esp when running in '386 enhanced mode' or whatever the proper name for that is).  An i3 or other x64 chip has a built in x86 emulator (emulation of old instruction sets is built into the new one).  Their implementations of old technology (like the 8086) are about as similar as a software emulator running on an i3 is to the original code running on a real 8086.  (Compare an 8086 and an i3 die in an electon microscope and play spot-the-similarity...)  Working code is a sequence of numbers designed to be interpreted according to certain well defined rules.  It matters little whether those rules are implemented directly in the logic of a chip, or via software on a different chip (excepting performance implications).

Never buy from a rich salesman. -- Goldenstern