Sunday, February 8, 2009

IBM defines the US Patent Law

IBM DECLARES WHAT IT THINKS 35 USC 101 REALLY MEANS Much as I love bashing IBM - they are so nefarious - I have to tip my hat to their claim drafters, who always do fun things with claim language. Just this week IBM was awarded a crappy software patent (memory storage pool allocation citing no non-patent prior art), with some fun language - here's U.S. Patent No. 7487322:
1. An article of manufacture including program logic on a computer readable storage medium(...)
This claim is classic in its contempt for 101 caselaw, because it directly attacks the nonsense of 101 caselaw (nonsense that all flows from the legal sewage otherwise known as Gottschalk v. Benson): is an executable computer program on a media an "article of manufacture"? Anyone who knows anything about the computer science or commercial software (a group which excludes much of the CAFC and SCOTUS) would say - sure - software is manufactured and sold as an article. Nothing wrong with this language. Or not, if you ask the Bilski crowd. Such language helps emphasize that Congress has to address the fact that the fundamental statutes of IP law (35 USC 101, 103 and 17 USC 102) will remain constitutionally vague until Congress defines what it means by such terms as "article of manufacture"- a definitional problem NOT the role of the courts to do.