What kinds of softwareif anydeserve a patent?It's a basic question, and one that many thought would be resolved by now, especially since the issue came up in the US Supreme Court's 2010 Bilski decision. But Bilski left the legal landscape more confusing and fractured.
Groklaw: "Every day I check to see if there is any news about a decision by the US Supreme Court on In Re Bilski. I'm sure a lot of you do too, so while we wait, here's a 30-minute movie by independent filmmaker Luca Lucarini, Patent Absurdity: how software patents broke the system, made possible by a grant from the Free Software Foundation, on how we got into patent quicksand in the US:"
Red Hat has submitted comments to the U.S Patent and Trademark Office regarding interpretation of the Supreme Court's Bilski decision: "The submission was made in response to the PTO’s request for public comments to assist it in determining how to apply the Supreme Court’s decision in that case.
Groklaw: "Look at this, will you? The first decision from the Board of Patents Appeals and Interferences post-Bilski to reference that US Supreme Court decision, in In Re Proudler [PDF], a ruling rejecting HP's application for a software patent, setting forth a rule stating, as I read it, as saying software is not patentable because it's an abstraction:"
Bradley Kuhn gives some next steps for anti-software-patent advocates: "Since Bilski has given us no new tools for abolishing software patents, we must redouble efforts with tools we already have to mitigate the threat patents pose to software freedom.
LWN.net: "As the last possible date for a ruling approached, the Free Software Foundation observed: "For Supreme Court watchers, following Bilski has been like following the World Cup. Productivity has fallen and ulcers have grown." Alas, it seems that the World Cup analogy extends to bad calls as well."
A few months ago, the US Supreme Court said it would take up a controversial and divided case regarding software patents. Now, the high court has agreed to take up two more patent casesboth of which could potentially overturn current rules that many in the tech sector see as too lenient for patent owners.