Software Patents – Live To Tell Another Day
June 29, 2010
As a growth venture capital firm, we are highly interested in IP and patents. Yesterday, the much anticipated Bilski vs. Kappos business method case decision was released by the Supreme Court. And, while the court affirms the decision in a particular case, it decides not to do much in narrowing the scope of patenting.
It affirmed the overall decision from the Federal Circuit that Bilski’s patent was invalid for being too broad, but much more importantly, it turned back the Federal Circuit’s machine or transformation test, which many believed ruled out pure software patents. Instead, the court said that the courts “should not read into the patent laws limitations and conditions which the legislature has not expressed.” In other words, business method and software patents survive.
With respect to expansion stage software companies, patents have always been an important element when raising venture capital. Over the past few years, it has become an increasingly controversial topic within the tech community and one that we will continue to watch closely.
I would be interested in hearing your opinions.