>> Similarly if C was patented then we shouldn't have seen so much of growth in software development.
It is the chicken and egg question. The true fact is that the software lawyers are smarter than their hardware equivalents. When you buy Windows and want to build an application on it, you pay Microsoft license on the product. But Intel powers the OS for Windows and they simply pay-out for the hardware. Intel could have also asked for royalty for OS running on their hardware. Oracle gets money from banks running banking applications powered by Oracle. Yet, IBM and co that supply the server do not (only puchase revenue).
>> , I totally agree with you. Software is as important as hardware for optimal systems performance.Some times the performance is limited by the software and not hardware.
That is why they have valuations in multiples better than IC startups becuase they make all the difference. Hard to see any IC firm at startup phase with $250M valuation. Yet, we see these web startups in the north of billions of dollars.
Seems to finally rule out Amazon's "One Click" which is long overdue, along with dozens of other SW implementations of existing HW. Take Apple's slide switch to turn off a phone, slide switches have been in use longer than I've been alive and yet they want to patent that LOL!
Per comments, it's important to clarify that the Supreme Court did make a decision *on one case* and not all software patents; though the decision has implications on future patent requests.
Several commenters also have taken issue with abstract ideas being patentable, and I think there may have been confusion over the lede in this article. Software has not always been considered an abstract idea, but abstract ideas have long been considered patent ineligible:
Step 2: Does the claim wholly embrace a judicially recognized exception, which includes laws of nature, physical phenomena, and abstract ideas, or is it a particular practical application of a judicial exception? See Bilski v. Kappos, 561 U.S. ___, ___, 130 S. Ct. 3218, 3225, 95 USPQ2d 1001, 1005-06 (2010) (stating "The Court's precedents provide three specific exceptions to § 101's broad patent-eligibility principles: 'laws of nature, physical phenomena, and abstract ideas.'") (quoting Diamond v. Chakrabarty, 447 U.S. 303, 309, 206 USPQ 193, 197 (1980)).
"A principle, in the abstract, is a fundamental truth; an original cause; a motive; these cannot be patented, as no one can claim in either of them an exclusive right." Le Roy v. Tatham,55 U.S. (14 How.) 156, 175 (1852).