Delaware
11 October 2016
Reporter: Barney Dixon
Patents a “terrible fit” for software
Copyright is a sufficient system for protecting software and the patent system is a “terrible fit”, a US Federal Circuit judge has said.

The comments followed a ruling in the Intellectual Ventures v Symantec patent infringement case last month, in which the court found Intellectual Ventures’s software patents as being invalid.

Judge Haldane Mayer, who oversaw the case, said: “It is well past time to return software to its historical dwelling place in the domain of copyright.”

Quoting other cases, Mayer added: “‘Several commentators’ have ‘argue[d] that the complex and expensive patent system is a terrible fit for the fast-moving software industry’ and that copyright provides ‘[a] perfectly adequate means of protecting and rewarding software developers for their ingenuity.”

He went on to say: “[A] problem with software patents is that they provide incentives at the wrong time. Because they are typically obtained at the ‘idea’ stage, before any real inventive work has been done, such patents are incapable of effectively incentivising meaningful advances in science and technology.”

Intellectual Ventures’s software patents covered its Distributed Content Identification System, Automated Post Office and Computer Virus Screening Methods and Systems.

Both the Distributed Content Identification System and the Automated Post Office patents were found to be patent ineligible by the court, but the Computer Virus Screening Methods and Systems patent was affirmed by Mayer, who asserted that the patent was valid.

More Patents news
The latest news from IPPro The Internet
Join Our Newsletter

Sign up today and never
miss the latest news or an issue again

Subscribe now
WiLAN diversifies in wake of patent licensing challenges
20 April 2017 | Ottawa | Reporter: Mark Dugdale
WiLAN is acquiring an internet of things company for $47.4 million as it looks to diversify away from its core patent licensing business
Court tells bee trap maker to buzz off
27 March 2017 | Alabama | Reporter: Mark Dugdale
The US District Court for the Northern District of Alabama issued a summary judgement in favour of eBay on 20 March
Google must pay $20 million for Chrome infringement
15 February 2017 | Texas | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Google must pay $20 million in damages for infringement of four patents related to anti-malware
Trading tech patents upheld under Alice
19 January 2017 | Illinois | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Trading Technologies International’s electronic trading patents have been upheld under the Supreme Court’s decision in Alice v CLS Bank...
Ameranth to press on with mass infringement claims
16 January 2017 | California | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Internet solutions company Ameranth has been granted an order lifting the stay of more than 30 patent infringement cases, against defendants such as Pizza Hut, Oracle, Starbucks and Dominos...
McRO case denied en banc rehearing
06 January 2017 | Washington DC | Reporter: Barney Dixon
Bandai Namco Games America has been denied an en banc rehearing in its cornerstone software patent case against McRO...
Nokia and Apple resume hostilities
23 December 2016 | California | Reporter: Mark Dugdale
Nokia has lodged complaints against Apple in the Regional Courts in Dusseldorf, Mannheim and Munich, Germany, as well as in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas...