When to Apply Section 101? Federal Circuit Divided

Should a court should evaluate patent claims for statutory subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101 before or after considering validity based on prior art?  In MySpace, Inc. v. Graphon Corp., No. 2011-1149 (Fed. Cir. March 2, 2012), all panelists agreed on the invalidity of the software patent claims at issue.  However, the majority and […]

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Patentable Subject Matter: New Federal Circuit Case

Yet another post-Bilski pronouncement: the Federal Circuit has held that patent claims directed to “an investment tool designed to enable property owners to buy and sell properties without incurring tax liability” do not recite patentable subject matter under 35 U.S.C.  § 101.  Fort Properties v. American Master Lease, No. 2009-1242 (February 27, 2012). Background United […]

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Computer Fraud and Abuse Act: Civil Rights of Action Have an Uncertain Bar

Federal district courts have been split, and the courts of appeals thus far silent, on what allegation of “loss” a plaintiff must make to state a case under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.  18 U.S.C. § 1030.  The CFAA, a criminal statute barring unauthorized access of specified categories of computers, provides for a civil […]

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Detroit Patent Office to Cover Software

Detroit is excited about the branch office of the United States Patent and Trademark Office opening downtown in July.  And with good reason.  Moreover, based on the USPTO’s recent job posting for people with computer backgrounds to serve as administrative law judges in Detroit, it appears that the Detroit Patent Office will go beyond the […]

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Case Note: Copyright First Sale Doctrine

A California court recently reaffirmed the principle that a restrictive software license is not a “sale” for purposes of the federal copyright laws, and that the license could not be used to assert a defense to copyright infringement based on the first sale doctrine.  Adobe Systems Inc. v. Hoops Enterprise LLC, No. 4:10-cv-02769-CW (N.D. Cal., Feb. […]

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Introducing the Non-Lawyers’ Pages

While this site presents issues mainly of interest to other lawyers, those issues are vitally important to the non-lawyers who work in the information technology industry.   Therefore, I am introducing The SWIP Report’s “Non-lawyers” pages.  Here you will find basic information relating to protecting and transferring intellectual property related to software.  I have started with […]

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