Washington, D.C., June 29th 2010 — The Supreme Court of the United States delivered its ruling on the Bilski landmark case yesterday. A split court issued a very narrow ruling, avoiding broad decisions on patentability. The Court explicitly refused to weigh in on the scope and limits of the patent system, stating that “nothing in this opinion should be read to take a position on where that balance ought to be struck”. “We are pleased, but we feel the Supreme Court did not go far enough in banning all patents on abstract ideas such as software and business methods”, comments Benjamin Henrion on the outcome. The President of the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) has a 10 years record of promoting patent reforms in the European Union, often to prevent “deterioration to US patenting standards”.
Washington DC, 6 October 2009 — The Foundation for a Free Informational Infrastructure (FFII) and IP Justice filed an Amicus Curiae Brief to the U.S. Supreme Court. The case Bilski v. Kappos is expected to become a landmark ruling on the future of the U.S. patent system. The joint Brief explains the interlink of software and business methods, and points out alternatives to the so called Machine-or-Transformation test used for categorizing patents. Bilski v. Kappos, currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, is considered the single most important decision worldwide on the issue of patents on business methods, software and algorithms since the rejection of the Software Patents Directive by the European Parliament. “In Europe there still exists a myth of ‘anything goes’ as far as patentability in the US is concerned, although the Supreme Court has laid down rather strict rules on what is eligible subject matter – and what is not.”
Berlin, 12 December 2008 – Backed by the FFII and other organisations, software developers launch a petition in 28 languages to stop software patents and protect European innovators. The petition asks for legislative clarifications to clear out the legal uncertainty and imbalances created by software patents. Since the rejection of the software patent directive by the European Parliament in 2005, litigation and patent traps have become an even more prominent problem for the market and users of software. The European Patent Office (EPO) and national patent offices continue to grant these software patents and have not adapted their practice, despite the fact that they are facing a patent crisis caused by lowering standards and a lengthening backlog of applications. Meanwhile, court decisions accept and in many cases validate the granted software patents.