How the US Supreme Court Case of Bilski v. Kappos Impacts VCs & Investors

August 25th, 2010
Patents/IP

Editor: John R. Harris

The dust is still settling after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Bilski v. Kappos decision about the patentability of processes (business method and otherwise) on June 28, 2010.  Scholars and experts in other parts of the world seem to agree that the recent decision about the patentability of processes is, for the most part, “business as usual” here in the U.S.  Europe in particular has long been hostile to the patentability of computer software and business methods.

According to one European legal scholar’s observation, the “machine-or-transformation” test discussed in that case is either: “(i) woefully imprecise and ill-equipped for determining

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Flash “Zombie Cookies” Litigation

August 20th, 2010
Patents/IP
Practical Pointer:  Web developers should be careful about adopting web intelligence gathering techniques that put information onto users computers.  A recent class action lawsuit in California relating to ADOBE FLASH “zombie cookies” highlights the risk of intelligence gathering using certain techniques.  A number of companies including Hulu, MySpace, MTV, ESPN, ABC, NBC and Scribd were sued for allegedly using zombie cookies.  Briefly, zombie cookies are data called “Local Shared Objects” (LSO’s) stored on a user’s computer by ADOBE Flash.  Some programmers have used this memory space to store a backup of cookies generated during a web browsing session.  If the user deletes their cookies, the

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Oracle Sues Google Over Use of Java

August 18th, 2010
Patents/IP

 

Practical Pointer: InfoWorld Developer reports that Oracle seems intent on a scorched-earth fight to profit from JAVA.  Oracle has kicked off filing patent and copyright lawsuits against major users such as Google.  Companies that rely heavily on JAVA to implement their products should monitor developments in this area — and look at their indemnity clauses, especially if not directly licensing from Sun. Full Article.

 
 
 

 
 

 

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“U.S. Supreme Court Issues Key Ruling on ‘Processes’ as Patentable Subject Matter.”

August 9th, 2010
Patents/IP

                               

By John R.  Harris and Daniel Sineway

The U.S. Supreme Court today (June 28, 2010) handed down its highly-anticipated opinion in the case of Bilski v. Kappos, Case No. 08-964.  The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and held that the subject matter of Mr. Bilski’s patent application was not patentable subject matter.

However, in ruling against Mr. Bilski and denying him a patent, the Supreme Court said that

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