First Internet message

Eric Smith spacewar at
Thu Jan 2 17:57:30 CST 2020

On Mon, Dec 30, 2019 at 4:44 AM W2HX via cctalk <cctalk at>

> software is currently non-patentable. Not sure the order of when it
> was/wasnt but currently is not.

I don't know anything about patents in other countries, but in the USA,
software is _definitely_ patentable, and has been since the 1970s. It was
ruled in 1853 that an abstract idea apart from its implementation is not
patentable (O'Reilly v. Morse). However, it has later been considered that
software is (or at least can be) more than just an abstract idea (Diamond
v. Diehr 1981).

What changed recently is that SCOTUS ruled in Alice Corp. V. CLS Bank
International, 573 U.S. 208 (2014) that taking some existing process or
business practice and doing exactly the same thing with a computer or
software involved is NOT a new patentable invention.

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