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News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

Supremes ride shotgun with Tesla down open road

•, By Reynolds Holding
The top U.S. tribunal unanimously ruled on Thursday that abstract ideas, even if run through a computer, can be freely adopted. Elon Musk, meanwhile, last week opened up the technology from his electric carmaker. Both decisions spread an important message to the vicious world of patent fighting: Share, don't hoard.

The court has long said mere concepts like mathematical formulas can't be patented. A derivatives-market operator argued, however, that using a computer to track counter-party payments was an innovation deserving protection. All nine justices disagreed, opining that the idea would have to, say, make the computer work better to be concrete enough to qualify. The decision does, however, preserve patents on truly substantial software.


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