Today, in its unanimous decision in Alice Corp v. CLS Bank, the Supreme Court took one more step towards the abolition of patents on software inventions. Upholding its previous positions, the Court held that abstract ideas and algorithms are unpatentable. It also emphasized that one cannot patent "an instruction to apply [an] abstract idea ... using some un-specified, generic computer."
Today, SFLC filed a brief (pdf, html, epub) amici curiae in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank before the United States Supreme Court. Filing on behalf of itself, the Free Software Foundation and the Open Source Initiative, SFLC argues that the "machine or transformation" inquiry employed by the Court in Bilski v. Kappos is the correct, and exclusive, bright line test for patent eligibility of computer-implemented inventions. Our Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank resource page contains highlights of the briefs so far and will be updated as the remaining briefs are posted.
This fall Eben Moglen will be giving a series of public talks entitled "Snowden and the Future". These talks will address the following questions:
What has Edward Snowden done to change the course of human history? How does the evolution of surveillance since World War II threaten democracy? What does it mean that information can be both so powerful and so easily spread? In a network embracing all of humanity, how does democracy survive our desire for security?