Supreme Court Delivers Open Source Smackdown


There's big news in the software patent front from none other than The U.S. Supreme Court. In the case of Bilski vs. Kappos, handed down yesterday, is a major blow to the anti-patent movement, specifically the no software patent groups.

Florian Mueller, founder of the anti-software patents movement (NoSoftwarePatents) in Europe, provides the following commentary on the subject:

Yesterday's Supreme Court ruling in re Bilski was unfortunately a clear victory for those favoring an expansive patent system and the inflation that it entails. The two "inventors", Bernard L. Bilski and Rand Warsaw, saw their patent application thrown out, and that makes them the losers of the court proceeding, but few people will care about them now.

The big losers are:

  1. The free software and open source communities
  2. Software patent abolitionists
  3. Small and medium-sized companies who can't or don't want to play the patent game
  4. The proponents of bogus treatments: Linux Foundation, Open Invention Network etc.
  5. The Patent Absurdity movie
  6. Red Hat
  7. Google's foray into new markets (Android, WebM)
  8. (Marc Benioff)
  9. The "captive court" theory
  10. IBM's open source credibility

You can read the entire entry by Mr. Mueller on his blog.

Florian Mueller is a software developer and government affairs professional. In 2004, Florian founded the NoSoftwarePatents campaign, which contributed to the European Parliament's rejection of a proposal for European software patent legislation. At the time, Florian was an adviser to, and small shareholder in, MySQL AB, the company behind the popular open source database. For his forceful opposition to software patents, he received several awards, including the European Campaigner of the Year 2005 Award (Economist Group) and CNET UK's Outstanding Contribution to Software Development Award. Florian was twice nominated to Managing Intellectual Property magazine's annual list of the top 50 most influential people in IP.

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