Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Court Drawn to Horse, Buggy and Total Technical Incompetence

It seems inevitable that our collective elevator ride back down to those future-shocking New Medieval Ages
should include a stop over at that retail sell-out floor called
Patently Incompetent SCOTUS Justices On Sale Here (the PIS-JOSH floor).

Today's Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decision in Alice Corporation Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International (2014) does not surprise. After all, we saw in the oral arguments how naive the Justices were with respect to giving a coffee clutchful of Silicon Valley "coders" an "idea" and telling them to "make it so" over the weekend on a "general purpose computer". (a.k.a. the "generic" computer") ... The Alice-in-Blunderland Supremes summarized their holding in the following:

"Viewed as a whole, these method claims simply recite the concept of intermediated settlement as performed by a generic computer. They do not, for example, purport to improve the functioning of the computer itself or effect an improvement in any other technology or technical field. An instruction to apply the abstract idea of intermediated settlement using some unspecified, generic computer is not “enough” to transform the abstract idea into a patent-eligible invention. Id., at ___. Pp. 14–16."

As Forrest Gump was known to quip, 'simple is as simple thinks' or something generically like that.

Patent law pundits are all over the map on this one:
Don't Ask Alice, What did our Supreme Humpty Dumpties mean?

Some say "software" patents have been severely set back

Others say "software" is not at all affected because the Supremes didn't say the S-word

Yet others (the EFF) celebrate the end of all "software" patents.

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