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Software Patents

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| However, with the addition of software and business method patents in the
| 1980’s, the statute has been the subject of dispute. Until about 1981, the
| U.S. Patent Office held that steps performed by a computer were unpatentable
| under at least § 101. However, in Diamond v. Diehr, 450 U.S. 175 (1981), the
| Supreme Court overruled the Patent Office and held that, though an algorithm
| and the like are abstract and unpatentable, the fact that an otherwise
| patentable process is carried out on a computer does not make it
| unpatentable.


University Software Ownership: Technology Transfer or Business as Usual

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| University policies towards ownership of software have recently become quite
| controversial. In this paper, we present what is to our knowledge the first
| systematic study of such ownership. We rely in part on a unique, hand-curated
| database of university software patents. The combination of our quantitative
| and qualitative research yields a number of interesting results. First,
| software patents represent an important, and growing, component of university
| patent holdings. Second, the main determinant of university software
| patenting is not computer science-related R&D (or even overall R&D) but the
| university's overall tendency to seek patents on R&D outputs.


Standford owns the junk patent called "pagerank".


[KDE developer:] stupid patents

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| Many of Apple's concepts such as icons stacks, parabolic zooming in panels
| and (most recently) widgets on media centers that they seem to feel are
| patentable are either unoriginal or just plain trivial. *
| [...]
| Future society will look back upon us and cluck their tongue at how stupid we
| were for having let the patent system encroach upon things such as software
| on the one hand and become so baroque a system as to be generally lacking
| usefulness on the other. *

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