Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


Software patents threaten to devastate the U.S. computer industry. Until the Supreme Court's decision in Diamond v. Diehr in 1981, computer software was viewed as unpatentable. Regardless of whether or not that decision and subsequent decisions expanding the scope of patent protection for computer software are legally correct, they are bad policy. Patent protection is inappropriate for computer software. The growing number of software patents, many for obvious and well-known techniques, threaten to stifle innovation and make the development of computer software prohibitively expensive.