Did big patent ruling doom software patents?

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s blockbuster patent ruling Thursday in the In re Bilski case obviously has important repercussions for the future of software patents, a subject I wrote about in the post entitled, “Ending software patents: Has the time come?

Since I am under a difficult deadline on an unrelated matter, I can’t yet tackle this subject myself, but I did want to refer readers to a couple remarkable postings from a pro-software patent attorney who takes the position that Bilski amounts to a complete rejection of the whole notion of software patents – a position that, if true, would have enormous repercussions for companies like Microsoft (MSFT), which has invested millions to compile vast arsenals of them, as well as the patent-threatened Linux community, and its promoters like Novell (NOVL) and Red Hat (RHT). The poster, Gene Quinn, is a New Hampshire patent attorney at White & Quinn, and a contributing editor to the PLI’s (Practicing Law Institute’s) Patent Brief Web site, where these posts appear.

I haven’t read Bilski yet, so I’m not vouching in any way for the cogency of Quinn’s interpretation, but I just wanted to let readers see the posts, assess them, and express comments. For a quick summary of Bilski and why it’s important, here’s the Wall Street Journal Law Blog’s discussion. Here’s Quinn’s first post, entitled Federal Circuit Decides Software No Longer Patentable, and here’s the second, entitled “State Street Overruled … PERIOD.”

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