Thursday, June 19, 2014

New SCOTUS decision could affect RPG patent

The United States Supreme Court just issued a decision invalidating patents on 'abstract ideas' in computer patents.

From the article:
Alice attempted to prove that its patents were more than just an idea by pointing to the specific software steps that it had to carry out. But the court found that these steps weren't ultimately much more than "stating an abstract idea while adding the words 'apply it with a computer.'" The claims "simply recite the concept of intermediated settlement as performed by a generic computer. They do not, for example, purport to improve the functioning of the computer itself or effect an improvement in any other technology or technical field." Each of the steps that Alice described were basic computer functions like adjusting account balances, keeping records, and issuing automated instructions, and the finished product didn't transform them into something more than the obvious sum of their parts.
In other words, exactly the kind of thing our recent RPG patent troublemaker is attempting. UH's patent application has been struct down repeatedly by the office on the grounds of being too abstract already, it's based heavily on reams of prior art, and as well their biggest defense (when they can stick to it) seems to be to claim that it's all about doing it 'on a computer.'

Certainly doesn't look good for them at all.

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