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Appeals Court Affirms Old Polaroid Patent Invalid

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 months ago | from the bite-the-dust dept.

Patents 45

mpicpp (3454017) writes with news of a notoriously abused (basically "method of displaying images on a machine") software patent being declared invalid. From the article: The ruling from last week is one of the first to apply new Supreme Court guidance about when ideas are too "abstract" to be patented. ... The patents in this case describe a type of "device profile" that allows digital images to be accurately displayed on different devices. US Patent No. 6,128,415 was originally filed by Polaroid in 1996. After a series of transfers, in 2012 the patent was sold to Digitech Image Technologies, a branch of Acacia Research Corporation, the largest publicly traded patent assertion company. ... In the opinion, a three-judge panel found that the device profile described in the patent is a "collection of intangible color and spatial information," not a machine or manufactured object. "Data in its ethereal, non-physical form is simply information that does not fall under any of the categories of eligible subject matter under section 101," wrote Circuit Judge Jimmie Reyna on behalf of the panel.

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Time for communism! (-1, Offtopic)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about 2 months ago | (#47486811)

First soup, then COMMUNISM, then ducks are all polyphonic in my upper regiols of yhear.

Re:Time for communism! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47486997)

Why do you bother? It's not funny and no one cares. Really, a piss-poor "troll".

Re:Time for communism! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47487145)

Leave him alone. None of you other fuckers posting any creative FP trolls these days.

I still read at -1, nested. The trolls are why I come here.

Nigger.

Re:Time for communism! (1)

Barsteward (969998) | about 2 months ago | (#47488501)

"The trolls are why I come here.The trolls are why I come here." - you need to get out more

Kill em all, let the kernel sort 'em out. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47486875)

Oh, just think what would happen if we got some particle theorists as judges?

All patents invalidated because matter is energy is information.

Re: Kill em all, let the kernel sort 'em out. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47489313)

Or at least a lot more patents would seem obvious.

KODACHROME PATENT STILL VALID!! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47486889)

"Kodachrome"

When I think back
On all the crap I learned in high school
It's a wonder
I can think at all
And though my lack of education
Hasn't hurt me none
I can read the writing on the wall

Kodachrome
They give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world's
a sunny day
I got a Nikon camera
I love to take a photograph
So mama don't take my Kodachrome away

If you took all the girls I knew
When I was single
And brought them all together
for one night
I know they'd never match
my sweet imagination
Everything looks worse
in black and white

Re:KODACHROME PATENT STILL VALID!! (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47487015)

Gosh, does that bring back memories. It was September of 1981. We didn't fully realize it yet, but our great nation's economy and future were going to be destroyed by the horrific policies of our new president, Ronald Reagan. The moderate Republican Party of Eisenhower had been ravaged by right-wing crazies. New York City had already been suffering badly since the 1970s, and racial tensions were high. Black supremacist groups were causing havoc in Harlem and The Bronx, their cocaine-fuelled rage causing strife with the ever-growing Latino community in the north of the city.

But there I was, in Central Park. Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel were on stage. And out of the speakers I hear those glorious words:

KODA-CRO-OW-OWM!

It was at that moment that America died for me. Things would never get better than those two seconds. It was all down hill from there.

Re:KODACHROME PATENT STILL VALID!! (5, Interesting)

Bob_Who (926234) | about 2 months ago | (#47487081)

Amen, Brother.

Its amazing how being at a certain age and place and social consciousness that a common experience and thinking is shared. We all knew that things would always change in time, but its strange to look back and see how that all played out in the aftermath... In some ways, we didn't have a clue, but in terms of the results that we just KNEW would result from three decades of "trickle down" economics and other forms of short sighted policy enacted by people are no longer alive: Here we are! Right where we knew we would be. I was born in Rochester, New York - home of Kodak, but I never thought I or Paul Simon would outlive that company's prosperity or exemplary ethics. It certainly could have survived in all of its glory if it had continued to care about people more then about shareholder profits, plain and simple. That's how George Eastman would have wanted it.

It was at that moment that America died for me. Things would never get better than those two seconds. It was all down hill from there.

Americas not dead yet, my friend, but I do understand exactly how you are feeling about all of the lost ground. We remember our losses more profoundly then our gains. Its human nature, I guess, just like the rest of the experience.

Re:KODACHROME PATENT STILL VALID!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47487437)

and yet, Some of us look and see that the words of our founders "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy."

Re:KODACHROME PATENT STILL VALID!! (5, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 2 months ago | (#47487495)

Some of us look and see that the words of our founders "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury.

Except, no "founder" ever said that.

Unless you consider Ronald Reagan one of the founders, which considering your sentiment, is quite possible. Either people have the right to consent to their government or they don't. Whether or not there are social programs does not change that. What that quote (from the 1950's) is really saying is, "We'd be better off if people who disagree with me weren't allowed to vote".

Re:KODACHROME PATENT STILL VALID!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47487755)

Either people have the right to consent to their government or they don't. Whether or not there are social programs does not change that. What that quote (from the 1950's) is really saying is, "We'd be better off if people who disagree with me weren't allowed to vote".

Oh, please. There's no reason to present this as a false dichotomy between blithely accepting the faults of democracy vs wide-scale disenfranchisement. There are inherent, structural flaws in democracy. It's fundamentally metastable and prone to issues like demagoguery and tyranny of the (50% + 1) majority. However, the alternatives we have tried throughout history seem to be fundamentally worse. Communism killed many millions in the 20th century.

Instituting a democracy for a government is like building a house on a beach. It requires constant work to keep it from collapsing. It seems like an insane choice unless the only other option is to build the house in the caldera of an active volcano.

Pointing out a flaw in a system does not imply that someone automatically is advocating for the polar opposite. Check your assumptions.

Re:KODACHROME PATENT STILL VALID!! (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 2 months ago | (#47488161)

My assumption is anyone that would mistake a quote from some 1950's John Birch guy for a statement from a Founder is probably more worried about black people or Mexicans voting than preserving government by, of and for the People.

Re:KODACHROME PATENT STILL VALID!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47488357)

That may or may not be true for that other AC. I'm sure you didn't assume there was only one replying to you.

The quote may be misattributed, but it has truth. So, I'm concerned about the structural flaws of democracy while simultaneously not wanting to disenfranchise anyone.

I don't perceive why this is so hard to believe. I presume you are in favor of freedom of speech... all speech, including speech you personally find to be offensive. Yes, that means some disturbing expression is circulated, but the alternative (prior restraint) is far worse.

Re:KODACHROME PATENT STILL VALID!! (2, Insightful)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 2 months ago | (#47488569)

Communism didn't kill many millions in the 20th century.

Tyranny did. And its continuing in the 21st century. You probably don't call it tyranny though.

Re:KODACHROME PATENT STILL VALID!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47488715)

Communism didn't kill many millions in the 20th century.

"No true Communism"... haha.

Re:KODACHROME PATENT STILL VALID!! (3, Insightful)

steelfood (895457) | about 2 months ago | (#47487801)

Unless you consider Ronald Reagan one of the founders

He's one of the founders of the current oligarchy, certainly.

Re:KODACHROME PATENT STILL VALID!! (-1, Troll)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 2 months ago | (#47491515)

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy."

Odd that you choose that "people who disagree with me weren't allowed to vote" part...that's pure projection. I see a lot of that attitude today and it's always by leftists who are utterly frustrated that opposition is allowed to exist. After all, their policies are correct and anyone who disagrees is a fascist-KKK-nazi. Seriously, you would not believe the villianization and dehumanization that occurs.

Re:KODACHROME PATENT STILL VALID!! (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 2 months ago | (#47491617)

I see a lot of that attitude today and it's always by leftists who are utterly frustrated that opposition is allowed to exist.

We have state after state where Republicans are trying to keep old people, minorities and students from voting.

Tell me where Democrats are trying to keep anyone from voting. It's always projection with you guys, isn't it.

Re:KODACHROME PATENT STILL VALID!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47513031)

Tell me where Democrats are trying to keep anyone from voting.

Of course the Dems aren't trying to keep people from voting! They love it when people vote multiple times... and even when people vote after they're dead! Well, the Dems love it as long as those people vote Democratic, that is. Which is what happens, funnily enough.

Re:KODACHROME PATENT STILL VALID!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47488129)

"always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy."

I just wanted to step in and say that neither of them necessarily is worse than democracy. While dictatorships often is it since you pretty much have to be a power hungry person with a willingness to walk over bodies to become a dictator. (Much of the same mentality you need to become president in a republic but you seldom need to kill in that instance.)
As for a monarchy it all depends on the monarch. Without any requirement on competence a monarch can be both good and bad. (Well, I live in a country that used to be a non hereditary electoral monarchy once upon a time where when a king was elected he had to travel through the nation to be accepted by the people. Only if he survived the trip could he become king.)
Even in hereditary monarchies we see that it only takes one king who isn't power hungry to move the country back to democracy. That is how my country eventually moved into becoming a full democracy.

Re:KODACHROME PATENT STILL VALID!! (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 2 months ago | (#47488565)

America isn't dead yet?

It's been in an unresponsive coma with no hope of returning ever since Bush put in the war powers resolution.

America, as originally intended, is gone. Hold a funeral and move on.

suggested tag (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47486961)

sudden-outbreak-of-common-sense

Hardly a shocker (5, Informative)

SlaveToTheGrind (546262) | about 2 months ago | (#47486979)

The district court held the patent invalid under the old standard that was, in practice, more generous toward software algorithm patents. Then the Supreme Court decided CLS Bank, making software algorithm patents more difficult to obtain/keep. Under those circumstances, it would have been newsworthy if the Federal Circuit hadn't affirmed in this case.

Re:Hardly a shocker (2)

steelfood (895457) | about 2 months ago | (#47487849)

Given how pro-patent the Federal Circuit has been in the past, this is noteworthy. Remember that it was the Federal Circuit who opened the gateway for software and business method patents.

I have a suspicion the supremes are a bit peeved at them right now for all the shitty decisions they've been making since the 90's, and they really are concerned that their authority will be undermined by the SCOTUS' recent decisions and the lower courts applying them.

The way I see it, this is basically them saying, "Hey everybody, we're still relevant!"

Apple (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47487027)

Good thing Apple didnt snatch that patent up.

tl;rambj (0)

fibonacci8 (260615) | about 2 months ago | (#47487109)

too long, read against my better judgement Wading through the patent, it just seems to describe the process of converting a vector image to a raster image. I don't see anything novel.

Re:tl;rambj (1)

tyme (6621) | about 2 months ago | (#47487455)

What patent were you reading? There is not a single mention of conversion of vector images to raster images!

The patent describes a set of recorded data that corrects for color and "spatial" distortion of an image by an input our output device. All the claims pertain to various features of that data set, or of the process of applying the corrections to an image.

amazing... (4, Funny)

guygo (894298) | about 2 months ago | (#47487137)

a common-sense decision from a Patent Court.

Re:amazing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47487211)

a common-sense decision from a Patent Court.

And so it begins....

Re:amazing... (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | about 2 months ago | (#47488029)

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

Re:amazing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47490989)

Unless it's a 24 hour clock.

"patent assertion company" (2)

CanEHdian (1098955) | about 2 months ago | (#47487303)

Well, well... is Slashdot joining the PoliCor movement? A "patent assertion company"? Those companies must be the Pride and Joy of the American Enterprising spirit!

sounds a lot like... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47487355)

I'de like to please patent the transfer of power and force via regulated fiat currencies plz thx.

fuck the humanities... lets all please be civil about killing eachother unmercifuly

"Patent Assertion Company" (4, Funny)

ZipK (1051658) | about 2 months ago | (#47487453)

Nice euphemism you got there.

Extortion Assertion Company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47487985)

...would be a shame if something were to happen to it.

One down... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47487973)

... several million more to go.

What does it mean for ZIP file encryption? (1)

David Lee Lambert (3014905) | about 2 months ago | (#47488187)

Does this mean that the 2012 patent to PKware for high-strength encryption applied to individual members of an archive, #8090942 [google.com] , is ripe for challenge?

Refund! (1)

TomGreenhaw (929233) | about 2 months ago | (#47488207)

If a "Patent Assertion Company" or "Non-Practicing Entity" is found to have collected royalties on an invalid patent, they should be required to return the royalties.

Re:Refund! (1)

coinreturn (617535) | about 2 months ago | (#47499753)

If a "Patent Assertion Company" or "Non-Practicing Entity" is found to have collected royalties on an invalid patent, they should be required to return the royalties.

I disagree, if the royalties were collected under a contract that was not forced upon the payors via court action or threat thereof.

Re:Refund! (1)

TomGreenhaw (929233) | about 2 months ago | (#47499851)

Then I think we agree. Most royalties paid to patent trolls are under threat of lawsuit.

Re:Refund! (1)

coinreturn (617535) | about 2 months ago | (#47500375)

Sorry, I overlooked your introductory clause.

Off to California (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47489337)

and dealing with slide to unlock?

Definition of Intelectual Property (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about 2 months ago | (#47491311)

"Data in its ethereal, non-physical form is simply information that does not fall under any of the categories of eligible subject matter under section 101,"

Intellectual property is ownership of ethereal, non-physical ideas so couldn't this be used to combat IP across the board?

Gg (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47491319)

You forgot to cite the notoriously abused statement of opinion.

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