Practical Technology

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Red Hat comes out swinging against software patents

What do Microsoft, Red Hat, and Canonical all have in common? They all dislike software patents. Don’t get me wrong. Many companies that are anti-patent also hold and use patents against their enemies. Microsoft is one of those. But, if you get an in-house corporate IP (intellectual property) lawyer from any company in a bar, he or she will tell you that software patents are awful. So, I’m pleased to report that Red Hat, has filed an amicus curiae brief with SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) asking the Court to adopt the Bilski case ruling and explictly extend it so that software can’t be patented. .

The Reader Digest’s condensed version of the Bilski case decision is that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that you couldn’t patent business methods. By extension this means most software couldn’t be patented either.

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