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back to article US court blocks Amazon-style patent trolls

A US court has made the task of getting patent protection for software and business methods a la Amazon's "One-Click" a whole lot more difficult. The ruling means businesses and individuals with a penchant for patenting trivial or abstract concepts, and suing over infringement, may soon receive a swift kick to the intangibles. …

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If the computer is part of the invention

Then I cannot copy the patent: I'm using a different computer. If the patentable part is "any computer" then it can't be broken by putting it into a bespoke device.

Software algorithms implemented in hardware can be patentable: if you find a way to make a h.264 en/de coder in hardware that is either faster, cheaper, more power efficient or more accurate by exploiting some property of the matter being used, then the method by which that material is used and exploited is patentable. But if someone finds out a way to use some other form of material or uses it in a different way, it's a new patent.

If it had been applicable to a general purpose computer, then it could apply to someone sitting down with a pencil doing the sums. And that is mathematics.

Imagine if "build a better mousetrap" were coined today: it would not work. Someone would have patented "restraining household pests with a device that bars movement of pest until proper disposal can be arranged" and leave the details of what you use to do it hidden.

That is, after all, a business method: if you were running pest disposal business, that would be how to do it.

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Silver badge

God may exist after all

Some sensible output was produced by a merkin court in a patent case. Miracle.

Although the whole patent system still reeks, because it still allows much vagueness in the technique department. Trade secrets my furry arse. Without technical clarity required, the system is still begging for piggyback riding.

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Jobs Halo

How about.....

the Labour Government Patent "How to fuck up a Country and create a Police State" , as they seem bloody good at that .

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Boffin

Copyright on computer records.

When you click on a computer it writes something onto someone's hard drive. You then own the copyright to that material do you not?

In which case the storage facility for that medium should be under your control shjould that not?

Obviously when you send an e-mail the recipient owns the copyright to it as is the case with letters, they are considered the property of the addressed. But no such contract exists between a vendor and his customers online doe they?

Pedantic I know but who gives anyone the rights to collate material that you have had a major part in writing?

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Happy

Too bad

I had an idea for unleashing leccy all over the arse of the 1st hoser troll to come along but someone already has the dog collar and the taser so i'm out of luck.

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Unhappy

More cases need to go to court.

Did the court ever actually rule on the "One-Click" nonsense. I thought Amazon settled out of court, and so there never was a ruling.

A lot of these cases get settled out of court with the exact details of the settlement carefully hidden.

There are too many gray areas that remain untested in court. That favors the big companies that can afford expensive lawsuits.

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Paris Hilton

I want to patent saying "Thank You!" to each customer in my shop.

That's a business method.

Paris Hilton because its a trademark.

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