The exfiltrated exFAT driver
Posted Aug 1, 2013 14:49 UTC (Thu) by Jonno
In reply to: The exfiltrated exFAT driver
Parent article: The exfiltrated exFAT driver
While no jurisdiction but US allows patents on software (or mathematics) per see, in most jurisdictions the process of a special-purpose machine can be patented, even if (part) of that process is implemented in software, just as the process of a special-purpose machine can be patented even if (part) of the process is implemented using bolts-and-nuts (which isn't patentable either).
The problem is that some patent lawyers argue that whenever you put a piece of software into a general-purpose computer, you are effectively manufacturing a special-purpose machine, which can infringe on the patent. This interpretation is generally favoured by the European Patent Office, which are therefore happy to grant a patent on using a general-purpose computer to do "one click shopping". However, as of this moment, no court outside of Germany will buy that argument, making those patents unenforceable.
Unfortunately European courts can not actually strike down an already granted patent (only a patent re-examination by the European Patent Office can do that), but have to look at each case individually to determine whether the subject of the lawsuit is violating the patent in question. The answer to that question is generally going to be "No", but each and every user will still need their own lawyer and court date to get to that point...
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