Categories
Links

New Zealand bans software patents

A major new patent bill, passed in a 117-4 vote by New Zealand’s Parliament after five years of debate, has banned software patents.

This is great news for Kiwis. I really hope that their results inspire the similar movements in the US, UK, and elsewhere.

Categories
Links

Twitter Introduces the Innovator’s Patent Agreement

Good news on this Tuesday morning:

The IPA is a new way to do patent assignment that keeps control in the hands of engineers and designers. It is a commitment from Twitter to our employees that patents can only be used for defensive purposes. We will not use the patents from employees’ inventions in offensive litigation without their permission. What’s more, this control flows with the patents, so if we sold them to others, they could only use them as the inventor intended.

Software patents are a menace, but it’s understandable for companies to hoard them when the cost for not doing so could take down their entire business. This sounds like a pretty reasonable solution. For now.

Categories
Links

Amazon.com’s 1-Click Patent Confirmed Following Re-Exam

This is just plain terrible news. It’s the software equivalent of someone having a patent on “cash-only.” It’s a technology (and I hesitate to even call it a technology) so completely obvious that it makes the entire patent system look ridiculous by it’s inclusion.

This re-exam sticks us with another 4 years of the legal strong-arming of companies and people who try to make internet shopping experiences better.

Categories
Links

Apple sues HTC for infringing 20 iPhone patents

Engadget has the documentation. I’d like to add my voice to the chorus of people decrying the use of “user interface” patents. This kind of thing can be pretty vile. For example, one of the patents is for:

“Unlocking A Device By Performing Gestures On An Unlock Image,”

Which is absurd.