Supreme Court could limit software patents

Mar 31, 2014 by Sam Hananel

The Supreme Court appears willing to make it tougher to approve patents for computer software in a case that is being closely watched by technology companies.

But the justices on Monday struggled to come up with a middle ground that would recognize true inventions as opposed to those that simply take an old idea and blend it with computer wizardry.

The outcome of the case could send tremors through an industry that touches virtually every sector of the economy, from gadgets on to advances in anti-lock brakes.

The issue has divided the nation's technology giants. Companies like IBM say new restrictions could nullify thousands of existing patents. But firms including Google and Facebook say the free flow of software patents blocks other companies from innovation.

Explore further: Detecting and blocking leaky Android apps

Related Stories

Google buys IBM patents to beef up portfolio

Jul 30, 2011

Google has bought more than 1,000 technology patents from IBM as the Internet giant seeks to build up its portfolio and head off potential intellectual property suits.

Apple risks hefty fee in Germany patent trial

Feb 05, 2014

Apple is caught up in a new patent battle in Germany, risking a 1.5-billion-euro fine at a trial over the iPhone's emergency phone-dialling feature, the regional court of Mannheim said on Wednesday.

Recommended for you

Domino's taking orders via tweet

17 hours ago

Domino's on Wednesday launched perhaps the easiest way to satisfy a pizza craving this side of mind reading: order by tweet.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.