Ultramercial v. Hulu
This case is directed to a method of delivering copyrighted material over the web. It provides some interesting quotes related to software and web based inventions.
“[I]nventions with specific applications or improvements to technologies in the marketplace are not likely to be so abstract that they override the statutory language and framework of the Patent Act.” Research Corp., 627 F.3d at 869.
The digital computer may be considered by some the greatest invention of the twentieth century, and both this court and the Patent Office have long acknowledged that “improvements thereof” through inter-changeable software or hardware enhancements deserve patent protection. Far from abstract, advances in computer technology—both hardware and software—drive innovation in every area of scientific and technical endeavor.
The eligibility exclusion for purely mental steps is particularly narrow. See Prometheus Labs., 628 F.3d at 1358 (noting that claims must be considered as a whole and that “the presence of mental steps [in a claim] does not detract from the patentability of [other] steps”).
Perhaps this is the beginning of a resurgence of rationality with respect to 35 USC 101 and software.
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