Many technology professionals consider business method patents and software patents under attack by the courts after the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in the Alice Corporation v. CLS Bank International patent case. Even before this decision, in fact, over the last decade, courts have been invalidating patents already granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark offices on the grounds that they cover unpatentable subject matter such as “abstract ideas.” This injects additional uncertainty and cost into the patent prosecution process and subjects certain patents to significant attacks if the patent owner attempts to enforce them in court. So what does the road ahead look like for software patents? Future unclear.
Enter copyright law, which has a very long term of protection and a very low bar for obtaining a copyright registration. Copyright law protects software code, the look and feel of the user interface, or other aspects of software that have traditionally been protectable under copyright law from copying. Will copyright become the new favored protection regime for innovative software technology?
Join Jennifer Atkins and Antigone Peyton in this podcast as they explore the differences between patent protection and copyright protection for software and consider whether copyright will fill the gaping hole left by the active use of the patentability law to strike down issued patents.