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Against Monopoly

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Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.





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A Parting Gift From A Retiring Justice Stevens? [Bilski Predictions]

Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens is set to retire at the end of this Court's current term.

There are growing predictions from many authorities that Stevens might be the primary author of the Bilski patent case which has yet to be handed down.

Nobody ever got rich by successfully predicting what the Court will do, but overall, this seems to be very good news.

Stevens has been the one Justice who has consistently argued in favor of rational limitations on IP laws based on Constitutional principles.

He was the primary dissenter in the Eldred case which expanded copyright terms.

In his Eldred dissent, he specifically argued for limitations in the scope of both copyright AND patent law.

He was also a dissenter in the Diamond v. Diehr case - arguing that there should be further limits on software patents.

If Stevens is indeed the author of the Bilski opinion, that will likely be a good sign that the decision will offer something of good substance in terms of getting back on the road towards a sane patent regime.


Comments

Oh don't get my hopes up! I have been preparing to be disappointed by the Bilski decision, and my jaded side about this conservative-activist SCOTUS bench makes that pretty easy. I want to be happy about the decision that comes out, and if I think too much about what a great job Stevens would do with it, I'm bound to be disappointed in some way. If they limit software patents with the decision, I know it's still too little too late (just look at all the damage Apple is doing industry-wide right now), but I would still consider it a major victory.

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