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Technology Review: Software Patents Tangle the Web

Feb 20, 2000, 13:32 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Seth Shulman)

[ Thanks to Khalid HASSANI for this link. ]

"A profusion of new software patents on Internet business methods puts our notions of intellectual property to the biggest test yet."

"According to Q. Todd Dickinson, commissioner of the Patent Office, which is a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce, his agency is now receiving over 2,500 applications per year for so-called "business method software" patents."

"Although Dickinson makes the new patents sound like business as usual, the fact is that the patent system has recently moved deep into unmapped terrain. A series of U.S. court decisions over the past several years, culminating in an influential 1998 ruling, has flung the doors wide open to patent claims on all manner of software-mediated business concepts, from online insurance policies to electronic voting."

"Most of these new ownership claims have yet to be tested in the courts, but the number of high-profile disputes is mounting."

Complete story.

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