October 9, 2016
The abstraction of patent law into utter arbitrariness continues. In Intellectual Ventures v. Symantec and Trend Micro (CAFC 2015-1769), a CAFC panel finds virus-protection software an abstract idea, ineligible for patent protection. The court is still unable to draw a clear line of patentability, instead relying on gibberish ("the category of abstract ideas is not limited to economic or commercial practices or methods of organizing human activity; an inventive concept sufficient to transform the claimed abstract idea into a patent-eligible application"). Judge Mayer, in concurrence, confuses invention with free speech, opining the non sequitor that "patents constricting the essential channels of online communication run afoul of the First Amendment." Mayer opines that "claims directed to software implemented on a generic computer are categorically not eligible for patent." No one in their right mind has any idea, abstract or not, what constitutes a "non-generic" computer, as all computers are functionally equivalent (function being the sine qua non of utility, which is what patents are all about). What is clear is that large corporations now have little to fear, except lawyers fees, from any method patent that involves a microprocessor.
Posted by Patent Hawk at October 9, 2016 1:50 AM | § 101