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The law and policy of patent eligibility of computer software—focusing on U.S. law
|Issue Date: ||2017-08-10 10:01:19 (UTC+8)|
|Abstract: ||在電腦軟體產業初露锋芒的1970至1980年代，美國曾一度就軟體是否是可專利的標的發生爭論。美國聯邦最高法院先後作出Gottschalk v. Benson (1972)、Parker v. Flook (1978)、Diamond v. Diehr (1981)等相關判決，為軟體的適格性問題定下了基調。|
沉寂數十年後，在該議題幾乎要被人淡忘的時候，軟體的適格性在近年再次被推上了風口浪尖。美國聯邦最高法院連續作出數個專利適格性方面的判決。在其中的Alice Corp. Pty. v. CLS Bank International (2014)一案中，最高法院為判斷專利標的適格性設置了一套系統的測試方法。此後，雖然軟體在理論上依然是適格的專利標的，但在實務中軟體相關專利卻頻頻因不適格而被宣告為無效。變相的，軟體專利的效力被大幅削弱。
In the early stage of software industry in 1970s to 1980s, it was controversial as to whether software was a patent eligible subject matter. The Supreme Court of United States made a series of eligibility-related cases, i.e. Gottschalk v. Benson (1972), Parker v. Flook (1978) and Diamond v. Diehr (1981) which are still influencing the issue of eligibility at present.
After decades of peace and when the issue is nearly forgotten, eligibility of software has become disputed again recently. The Supreme Court started another series of eligibility cases. Among them, Alice Corp. Pty. v. CLS Bank International (2014), a highly influential one, set forth a systemic rule for eligibility testing. After Alice, software-related patents are frequently invalidated due to eligibility by lower courts, though software in theory is patentable. In this way, the Supreme Court has greatly weakened software patent rights.
This thesis attempts to explore the reasons behind the policy. Starting from phenomena aspect, it introduces various issues that software patents encounter. Then the features of software will be discussed, the compatibility between software innovations and the patent system will be analyzed, and a conclusion will be reached that the current patent system is unfit for software innovations. On this account, the thesis argues that the patent system is less than effective for software innovations as far as the theory that patents encourage innovations is concerned. As a result, the policy of weakening software patents is supported. In the end, the thesis retraces some important legal cases delivered by the Supreme Court of United States and the Court of Appeals for Federal Circuit, and looks into how they check eligibility of patents. Proposing how the eligibility test the courts are using should be construed, the thesis offers several suggestions as to how the test should be applied.
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|Source URI: ||http://thesis.lib.nccu.edu.tw/record/#G0103651067|
|Data Type: ||thesis|
|Appears in Collections:||[法律學系] 學位論文|
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