One of the issues Volano Solutions faced this year when selling our mobile compliance review app Action Card was from a restaurant that expressed concern that they might be held liable for intellectual property patent infringement by using our software. We learned that there was a special breed of bottom feeder that “trolled” published patents, waiting for them to expire so that they could purchase the rights and hold others legally liable for “infringing” on their patent. This was commonly done with software and restaurant chains were targetted. It looks like that phenomenon known as “patent trolling” was dealt a blow by the Supreme Court last week. According to this post from The Verge in regard to the Supreme Court case that serves as precedent, Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank has been one of the most closely watched patent cases of the year. It takes on what patent reform advocates see as the unreasonably broad category of “software patents,” which cover a process implemented on a computer rather than a piece of design or a physical invention. Earlier, the case was said with some degree of hyperbole to spell the “death of software patents,” but this decision doesn’t necessarily stop people from patenting a software “idea,” as long as its technical steps are concrete improvements or new designs, not an aggregation of existing steps.
Some businesses were asking software providers to sign indemnification agreements to assume the liability from any patent troll who decided to file suit over the use of their intellectual property. This case basically states that you cannot simply patent a broad, abstract process, link it to software and hunt down anyone who might be using a specific software system that manages that process. This is good news for software developers that would not like to spend time and resources protecting themselves from the threat of frivolous lawsuits and should alleviate some of the anxieties businesses have about investing in process efficiency technology. As a bonus, it’s nice to see a Supreme Court ruling come down 9-0 and not 5-4.
June 13, 2023
Data is like a vast set of building blocks, each has different shapes, sizes, and colors. Just like each brick has its unique utility, every piece of data carries a unique piece of information. As a business owner, how can you possibly start understanding what all the pieces of data from those fancy reports mean? […]
June 2, 2023
For small manufacturing companies with less than 100 employees and revenues of around $20–50 million, several key factors contribute to their success. Here are some important considerations: By focusing on these key factors, small manufacturing companies can enhance their competitiveness, achieve sustainable growth, and maintain profitability. It’s important to adapt these factors to the specific […]
June 1, 2023
Several years ago, I was working on a product that required some attention from the software product teams. This happens to all software over time because a user’s needs change, features need to be added, and bugs happen (naturally). The undertaking was large enough, so our team agreed it would be ideal to talk with […]
May 30, 2023
There’s an ongoing debate: custom software versus off-the-shelf Software as a Service (SaaS). A few misconceptions tend to cloud everyone’s judgment and influence decisions in this area. It’s time to put these myths to rest and bring clarity to the conversation. Myth 1: Custom Software is Outdated Custom software is inherently outdated, which couldn’t be […]
March 15, 2023
Why continue to utilize a mess of spreadsheets to run your operations? We think there’s a better way. Here are the top 7 reasons you should switch to custom software.
February 3, 2023
Wait. What’s the problem again? Several years ago I was working in Healthcare for a tech startup. At the time, healthcare systems could not bill patients until a chart was signed off and locked by a provider (MD, PA, or NP). The provider had to step through every single screen and check a box regardless […]