Global Policy Groups and Industry Leaders File Amicus Curiae Brief in Bilski Case

FFII and IP Justice Retain Hopkins & Carley to File Brief on Landmark U.S. Supreme Court Case
By: Chuck Brown
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San Jose - California - US

Oct. 5, 2009 - PRLog -- Munich-based Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII), San Francisco based global policy group IP Justice, and four international software and business professionals retained Hopkins & Carley’s Allonn Levy to file their court brief today in the landmark case of Bilski v. Kappos, one of the major cases pending before the United States Supreme Court.  Oral arguments are set to be heard on Monday, November 9, 2009.

The Bilski case challenges the extent to which business-methods and software are capable of patent protection under U.S. law.  The case is being closely followed by numerous other groups including at least 50 corporate and policy groups who have filed separate amicus briefs seeking to bring various issues to the High Court’s attention.

According to Levy, counsel of record for FFII (as well as IPJ and the group of select professionals who all signed onto the FFII’s Amicus Brief), "Bilski presents an important turning point for software and other business professionals world-wide.  The FFII brief provides practical arguments as to why the traditional prohibition on patenting abstract ideas should remain intact.  It also suggests concepts that can be implemented to ensure that strong patent protection remains for properly patentable material, but stops those who seek to improperly extend the exclusivity of patents to a non-patentable subject matter.”

The FFII brief presents an analysis of the dangers involved in extending patent protection to abstract ideas and algorithms untethered to any machine or transformative effect -- subject matter that traditionally has fallen outside of the reach of U.S. patent statutes.  The brief also provides an economic analysis of the costs and benefits of such patents, as well as a cross-referencing of U.S. patent law with analogous European prohibitions on patenting software or business methods.  

Georg Jakob, a long time member of FFII and founder of its Global Patent Policy Research Group noted, “Since software is a way of encoding any kind of knowledge, patents should never be granted on software itself but only on solutions that embody new empirical knowledge that is disclosed to the public.  As already previously established by the U.S. Supreme Court, this knowledge must be about transformation of matter.  Otherwise, there will be patents on everything – and the next crisis will likely start with the burst of a patent bubble.”

For commentary and more information, contact:
Allonn E. Levy, Hopkins & Carley, 408.299.1385 /
Allonn Levy is an attorney with the Silicon Valley firm of Hopkins & Carley and is a member of the firm’s intellectual property group.  He was admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court in 2003 while working on a series of high-profile cases involving the encryption mechanisms employed on Digital Versatile Disks.

He has handled a number of high-profile technology cases in the past including a string of “DVD” cases involving the mass publication of the anti-DRM tool “DeCSS,” and recently successfully completed a month-long trial resulting in a $5.8 Million dollar verdict for his client and the successful defense of a $12 million dollar adverse claim.  For more information:
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Tags:Bilski, Supreme Court, Patents
Location:San Jose - California - United States
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