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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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Bye Bye Business Method Patents

Comments (4)

While it’s not over yet as the Supreme Court might weight in, the Federal Court Kills Patents on Business Methods.  I haven’t read things carefully yet (I’ll leave that for the bathroom this weekend) but from the quick analysis I’ve read (In re Bilski: Patentable Process Must Either (1) be Tied to a particular machine or (2) Transform a Particular Article) it looks like it is a strong, unambiguous decision in the good fight to eliminate ridiculous patents.

The Federal Court declined to weigh in on my hated software patents, but this is a huge step in the right direction.  Bye bye business method patents – at least those that aren’t either tied to a particular machine or transform a particular article – how we’ll miss thee.

  • Kelly Taylor

    Came across this in the WSJ this morning, agreed..a positive step forward.

  • tim

    agreed on business process. regarding the other commentary – either eliminate them altogether or find competent patent examiners that uphold the time tested new, novel, and unobvious guidelines that define patentability. there is absolutely no difference between software and mechanical devices when it comes to issuing frivolous patents. for every bullshit software patent that gets issued, i can show you 13 bullshit mechanical ones.

    i am curious, Brad – when you go do a deal with a software company, and you are looking for defensible IP, do you choose those that could be patented but choose not to, or do you hate the system so much as to pass over patentable software for stuff that any 14 year old that knows Ruby can write and rip off you $2 million investment from their Mother's basement somewhere in China?

    • http://www.feld.com Brad Feld

      The dysfunction of the patent system has no bearing on my investment approach. I’m looking for software / products / companies that can create a deeply defensible position on a number of fronts, including IP (with or without patents).

  • http://www.marypurslow.com/ mary

    This is an interesting topic to hear about especially from those involved in law practices and those involved on the business end of things. Although I don't fully understand the full depth of this, I think it will be interesting to see if it will be transferred over to certain machines areas. I like tim's point. “for every bullshit software patent that gets issued, i can show you 13 bullshit mechanical ones. “

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/kelly_taylo4868 kelly_taylo4868

    Came across this in the WSJ this morning, agreed..a positive step forward.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/bfeld bfeld

    The dysfunction of the patent system has no bearing on my investment approach. I’m looking for software / products / companies that can create a deeply defensible position on a number of fronts, including IP (with or without patents).

  • mary

    This is an interesting topic to hear about especially from those involved in law practices and those involved on the business end of things. Although I don't fully understand the full depth of this, I think it will be interesting to see if it will be transferred over to certain machines areas. I like tim's point. "for every bullshit software patent that gets issued, i can show you 13 bullshit mechanical ones. "

  • tim

    agreed on business process. regarding the other commentary – either eliminate them altogether or find competent patent examiners that uphold the time tested new, novel, and unobvious guidelines that define patentability. there is absolutely no difference between software and mechanical devices when it comes to issuing frivolous patents. for every bullshit software patent that gets issued, i can show you 13 bullshit mechanical ones.

    i am curious, Brad – when you go do a deal with a software company, and you are looking for defensible IP, do you choose those that could be patented but choose not to, or do you hate the system so much as to pass over patentable software for stuff that any 14 year old that knows Ruby can write and rip off you $2 million investment from their Mother's basement somewhere in China?

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