2 thoughts on “Microsoft v. AT&T: Export and Sale of Components of Patented Software

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    Applying US patent law to foreign sales of software will drive software development for world markets out of the US.

    Judges like to pontificate about natural consequences but have a remarkably poor record of understanding the natural consequences of their own decisions.

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    Here is the issue: In copying US patent protected software overseas, the Federal Circuit held that foreign “reassembling” of software code made in the US in violation of 35 US 271(f). Others believe that foreign copying of US software is not a “reassembly” of US patent protected software.

    Here is a summary of the prior comments from the above link:

    1. US patent law should prevent foreign copies of US patented software code developed in the US, since real work and expense takes place in U.S. — Tom

    2. Patent law is a territorial concept and make[, use, and sell] needs to occur with in U.S. territory to violate U.S. law — Milind

    3. US patent law should not retard innovation by protecting any software since all software ideas are necessarily both derivative and novel like spoken human speech. Copyright law is sufficient to protect software. Makes interesting point that defendant Microsoft wants to lose case in US to accomplish what it couldn’t in Europe (e.g., protect Microsoft software in Europe). — Software V.

    4. Internet selling in the US of US patent protected software manufactured overseas is a problem and preventing foreign manufacture of US patent protected software will address this problem. — Alan

    5. Foreign copying of US patent protected software code is similar to foreign copying of US patent protected seeds, plants, mice, and other self-reproducing articles. — Andy

    6. If US patent law prohibits foreign manufacture of US patent protected software, then we are headed down a slippery slope. One day, merely thinking about represented patented software technology in the US will result in a lawsuit. — Software V.

    7. I disagree that Microsoft wants to lose case — Tom

    8. If US patent law does not prohibit foreign manufacture of US patent protected software, US will go the way of France – a fourth rate player politically and economically in global playpen. Includes detailed advertisement for Professional Inventors Alliance USA — Ron

    9. Patents on the whole should be abolished since they only benefit con artists, extortionists, and lawyers. — Chris

    10. Queries on how to protect against elements of a software patent claim being manufactured in separate parts of the world. — Alan G.

    11. I disagree with some assertions made here. — globaliable

    12. There are no examples of a software patent that has promoted innovation and the development of the arts and sciences. — President L

    13. Independent inventors not working for large corporations produce more significant patents than inventors who work for corporations. Large corporate patent pirates always brutalize inventors who produce significant inventions virtually. — Ron

    14. As used in 35 USC 271(f), component only applies to product claims and not article claims. Thus, the Federal Circuit was wrong to apply 35 USC 271(f) to US patent protected software apparatus claims. See link to patentbaristas.com — David

    15. Big companies wield their patents against each other. — Software V.

    16. Independent software developers do not have the resources to read through 100,000’s of software patents to ensure they not infringing which hinders innovation rather than fostering it thereby invalidating the reason for software patents in the first place. — Jan H.

    17. While big corporation battles it out, small innovative high-tech startups and independent inventors wait on the sidelines and will eventually be wronged by the outcome. — small i

    18. Just let the system work. — Tony

    19. I disagree with Jan H on some points. — small i

    20. Agrees with Alan (who Queries on how to protect against elements of a software patent claim being manufactured in separate parts of the world) and points out the even more serious problem where the foreign manufacture takes place in unowned territories (e.g., the South pole, on the high seas, the moon) — small i

    21. Corporations populated by voluntary members of different Borgs are scared of those who want to retain their individuality and pursue their own goals, building their own inventions and creating their own businesses. — Tom

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