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Software and Patents Still a Mess, 14 Years On

Stocks in this article: AAPLORCLGOOG

The Above the Law article describes an Apple's (AAPL) "invention discussion session," in which every software tweak engineers mentioned was called a separate patent by lawyers. Judge Richard Posner, who recently tossed Oracle's (ORCL) patent claims against Google (GOOG), has called the current system "chaos."

The obvious answer is for the court to revisit State Street, to strictly limit how much software can be patented, restricting patents to physical inventions that can be produced in the real world.

Such a decision would cost the patent bar (and our biggest high-tech companies) billions of dollars, but justice is also supposed to be blind and look out for the public interest, not any private one.

Too much to hope?

At the time of publication, the author has a position in AAPL.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

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