Software Freedom Law Center Responds to Landmark Supreme Court Patent Decision

June 28, 2010

New York, NY, June 28, 2010//The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) issued the following statements in response to the Supreme Court of the United States’ decision on Bilski v. Kappos. [pdf]

Attributable to Eben Moglen: “The landscape of patent law has been a cluttered, dangerous mess for almost two decades,” said Eben Moglen, Chairman of the Software Freedom Law Center. “The confusion and uncertainty behind today’s ruling guarantees that the issues involved in Bilski v. Kappos will have to return to the Supreme Court after much money has been wasted and much innovation obstructed.”

Attributable to Daniel Ravicher: “For over a decade we’ve seen patents on ideas, thoughts, and even genes,” said Daniel Ravicher, the legal director of the Software Freedom Law Center. “Today the Court missed an opportunity to send a strong signal that ideas are not patentable subject matter. The Court’s rejection of Bilski’s patent application got rid of a symptom of the disease, but failed to treat the real cause by reconfirming that thought and thought processes are not patentable.”

The SFLC is a non-profit law firm established in 2005 to provide pro-bono legal services to Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) developers. Last November, the Court heard oral arguments in Bilski v. Kappos and today’s decision was one of the last of the current term. The SFLC argued against Bilski’s patent application in an amicus brief and urged the court to reaffirm that software is not patentable subject matter. To view a copy of the SFLC’s brief or learn more about the background and issues involved in Bilski v. Kappos, visit the resource page on our website.

For press inquiries and interview requests, e-mail or contact Ian Sullivan at (212) 461–1905.

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