about software patents
Does anyone know how this affects us -if it does- and if it might
change anything for the packages and programs that have problems with
software patents? Might there be any consequences out of this -even
though it is somehow USA-specific- or is it just blog noise?
The Patent and Trademark Office has now made clear that its newly
developed position on patentable subject matter will invalidate many
and perhaps most software patents, including pioneering patent claims
to such innovators as Google, Inc. 
The Patent and Trademark Office has argued in favor of imposing new
restrictions on the scope of patentable subject matter set forth by
Congress in article 101 of the Patent Act. In the most recent of these
three — the currently pending en banc Bilski appeal — the Office takes
the position that process inventions generally are unpatentable unless
they 'result in a physical transformation of an article' or are 'tied
to a particular machine. 
In two recent decisions announced after the oral arguments in the
Bilski case, Ex parte Langemyr (May 28, 2008) and Ex parte Wasynczuk
(June 2, 2008),  the PTO Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences
has now supplied an answer to that question: A general purpose
computer is not a particular machine, and thus innovative software
processes are unpatentable if they are tied only to a general purpose
The Death of Google's Patents?
The Death of Nearly All Software Patents?