Supreme Court Considers Software Patents

Ars Technica covers the latest case, Microsoft v. AT&T, concerning liability for patent infringement for the distribution of software outside of the United States. At stake is the legal status of software: is it more like machines or more like math?

The Ars piece links to an amicus brief filed by the Software Freedom Law Center:

“In contrast to the Federal Circuit, the Supreme Court has maintained limits on patentable subject matter throughout U.S. history,” said Eben Moglen, Executive Director of SFLC. “The Supreme Court has consistently ruled that algorithms and mathematics cannot be patented. Since software is expressed as mathematical algorithms, it should not be patentable.”

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